The concept of Mobile-First Indexing is quite simple. It essentially means that Google will now look at the mobile version of a page to determining how it should rank. What might shock you here, is that this applies to both mobile and desktop website search results.
In times gone by, taking into account Desktop-First Indexing, Google would initially check the desktop descriptions of your site, and the mobile content would be an afterthought. Meaning they check the mobile content first and then the desktop version. The real takeaway is that you need to make sure the mobile version of your site, is set as the primary goal.
Why would Google decide to make a change like this? Well, it comes down to the fact that more and more people are now accessing the search results from a mobile device.
As of 2016, a study found that 60% of searches took are on mobile devices. That number has more than likely risen in two years. When you consider that stat, it becomes crystal why Google would Make the change. Subsequently, If they’re not catering to the mobile users, they’re ignoring the user experience for more than half of their customers. Hence the move to mobile first indexing.
What’s the Impact on SEO?
It’s easy to overcomplicate how much Mobile-First Indexing can impact SEO. But it’s going to be the familiar territory in a way. Something you should keep in mind here is that Google is just starting to roll this out. This means that Google will treat this action as an experiment in the short term. Therefore, don’t panic as you still have time.
First things first, you must ensure your website has a mobile version. If you do not have a mobile version of your site, the algorithm will recognise this, and your rankings could potentially be harmed as a result.
Of course, this is going to be relative, as it will depend upon what your competitors are doing. To avoid anything unfortunate, though, you should get something in place as soon as possible. Please don’t lose all your SEO efforts. If you’re using a responsive theme for your website, you likely won’t have to fiddle with anything. A responsive theme is optimised to adjusts its design, to the screen size of the device being used.
Content on Mobile Site = Content on Desktop Site
As you probably know, Google values high-quality content. Don’t expect Google to cut you some slack, just because you have excellent content on your desktop but not on your mobile site. You must make sure the structured data is taken care of. Make sure the structured data for your desktop site is the same as what you’d find on your mobile site. You can ensure that this is done, by using the structured data tool, provided by Google.
Also, you must make sure that Google Search Console is aware of your mobile site. If you have not done so already, you need to login to the Search Console and verify that you are the owner of the mobile site. You should then check that Google can index your mobile site. You can attain this by using the Robots.txt tool. Using this tool is essential because even if you have a mobile site, it won’t matter if Google isn’t able to access it.
Greasy Fast Speed
You need to ensure that the mobile version of your website loads quickly. Google recently announced that they’re going to judge loading page speed when ranking mobile sites. You can use the PageSpeed Insights tool to help you figure out how fast the mobile version of your website is loading. This tool is especially helpful because it will provide you suggestions as to what can be done to complement things.
In any case, these are just a few suggestions as to how you can prepare for this update. There’s no telling what else Google might suggest. Because of this, you should keep an eye on our blogs, so you don’t miss any crucial pieces of information.
The SEO landscape is always changing. Today it is Mobile-First Indexing, but tomorrow it will likely be something else. Why not follow us on Twitter Google+, and Facebook as we continuously advise on all SEO best practice.