Today, most people are searching Google using their mobile devices instead of their computer. Google has begun testing its mobile-first index, which will use mobile content for all search rankings. Marketing experts predicted this change was coming in the near future, but this is the first time Google has posted details regarding the change on their blog. In the past, when Google looked to rank a page they used the desktop version of the site. In the future, Google will look at your website content and data from the mobile version.
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
Are You Prepared?
For now, if you do not have a mobile-friendly version of your site Google will continue to rank the traditional version of your site. If your company’s current site is responsive and frequently updating content than you will not be penalized for not having a mobile version. However, you will not benefit from the mobile-friendly ranking boost, which will decrease the chances of your SEO ranking before a site that has both user-friendly versions. It is important to remember that the mobile version of your site is very similar to the desktop version. If your mobile version has less content and missing links, Google will still rank your site based on the mobile version, which could affect your ranking.
How to Prepare Your Website
Google recommends that you take the responsive approach and make all content on both versions match on a page-by-page basis. On desktops, content hidden in tabs doesn’t greatly influence your ranking, but the mobile version of the expandable content can significantly alter the user’s experience. Below are several tips recommended by Google to prepare for mobile first- indexing.
- Invest in a responsive or dynamic-serving site with primary content and markup equally available across mobile and desktop
- Make the necessary changes to your site configuration if your primary content and markup are different across mobile and desktop.
- Add and verify your site’s mobile version in Search Console if only its desktop version has been verified.
- Google will continue to index desktop sites as usual, although they will be using a mobile user agent to view those sites
- Launch your mobile site only when it’s complete and ready
As Google starts implementing these small changes in the upcoming months, website owners are advised to follow these steps to increase your search engine’s ranking and traffic. For more information on preparing for mobile-first indexing and for all your website’s design questions, contact Paveya today!