Web Design Agency Tackles the New Google Mobile-first Indexing
It’s been some time since Gary Illyes first hinted at mobile-first indexing at Pubcon. Since then, marketers and SEO professionals alike have been theorizing and discussing what this may or may not mean to their web content. Google has since been experimenting with mobile-first indexing and is begging to roll out these changes in small batches. This not only gives Google the time they need to gather results and tweak the process but also gives a lot web developers the time they need to prep their site for the mobile user experience.
What Exactly is Mobile-First Indexing?
As it currently stands, Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems all focus primarily on the desktop experience. This historically has been an efficient means to ranking a web-pages content. However, over the years we have seen a gradual shift towards a more mobile-based experienced. Website are now seeing that more than 55 percent of all traffic is coming from a mobile device, indicating that the user experience is now primarily mobile.
Doesn’t this mean that web pages primary focus should be the mobile experience? Google has asked this question and mobile-first indexing is their answer. With mobile-first indexing, Google will be using the mobile version of a site’s content for indexing and ranking. This is a monumental shift in how Google’s algorithms rank pages. For the first time, we will see the algorithms ranking pages primarily from the mobile version of site, not the desktop.
How Will this Affect Web Pages?
According to Google, if you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site you should have nothing to worry about. So long as primary content remains the same across the desktop and mobile versions of a web page, mobile-first indexing shouldn’t affect content. Opposite of this is web pages, where the primary content differs across platforms. This is where you may see a negative impact on your indexing and ranking. When the switch to mobile-first indexing occurs, we will begin to see mobile web pages containing irrelevant content or lacking content begin to suffer.
How Can You Prepare?
First and foremost, as we exit 2017, there is no better time than now to have a mobile responsive site. Having a responsive site can do nothing but benefit user experience. Not only this, you will likely see improved results in your search engine rankings.
If you don’t feel it is necessary to go through the motions of going responsive (what are you waiting for?!), be sure that all primary content exists on your mobile site. Dig through your site and ensure that all relevant information is easily accessible on your mobile page, since this will now be primarily how Google is indexing your content.
Check your metadata! Ensure that metadata is present and equivalent on both the mobile and desktop versions of your site.
When Will This Change Be Put into Effect?
Google has begun evaluating sites independently based on their readiness for mobile-first indexing. These sites will be the first to make the transition and are being closely monitored by Google. Google is aware that many web developers must spend extra time preparing for these changes and as such there is no current timeline for when these changes will be put into place for all web pages.
Kraus Marketing specializes in website design, marketing, and branding. Our team of creative professionals can create an updated, mobile responsive website after discussing your business goals with you. Our websites are built on content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress and Magento. Contact our team for more information on how to begin designer your next website.