Google begins ‘Mobile First‘ indexing – what it means for your website.
Google announced in November 2016 that they were starting with mobile first indexing. What will this mean to the rankings of your website on Google?
Here’s a brief overview:
What is ‘Mobile First‘ indexing?
As you may know, Google has seen a significant shift from desktop computers to mobile devices. Most people now search Google using a mobile device such as a phone. Until now, Google’s ranking algorithms primarily looked at the desktop version of a web page. Of course, this can cause some issues when the mobile web page shows less content than the desktop web page that was evaluated by Google’s algorithms.
For that reason, Google plans to primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages. The search results will still be available for both desktop and mobile devices. However, the focus will be on mobile.
Google have stated:
“We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.”
So what do you need to do?
Google is serious about building a mobile-first index. For this reason, you should make sure that your web pages can be indexed correctly by:
Having a fully responsive website design
Fortunately, many websites that have been built in the last couple of years have a mobile-friendly responsive website design where the content is the same on mobile and desktop. So if this is the case, fortunately, you do not have to change anything! However, if your website is not responsive, then if you care about your rankings and website visibility, as well as user experience then now is the time to update!
You can check and see if your existing site has a mobile-friendly website design here:
This Google will test will analyse your website and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.
If you have a mobile friendly website design – still review the content!
In some cases, developers have produced websites that have less or limited content on their responsive mobile-friendly version. If you have a website configuration where the primary content is different across mobile and desktop, you should be making some changes to your site to make sure the content is focused and optimised toward mobile. If your mobile pages have less content than your desktop pages, your pages might get lower rankings with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ index.
Check out our Mobile First Update Blog for more details