Are you ready for Mobile First Indexing?
Every day the world we live in becomes more and more mobile.
Our smartphones are increasingly becoming a part of our daily routine - from the moment we wake until the moment we lay down to sleep at night. Google’s been all over this trend for a long time, and are now taking their next steps towards making their search engine a lot more relevant for their mobile users.
By now we’re sure you’re aware of the process Google goes through to index website pages. Googlebots crawl through websites as a real user, following the links on yours and every other website to navigate the web. Up until now Google has done this as a desktop user - but soon Google will be doing this as a mobile user - and that can make a huge difference to amount of traffic it sends to your website.
What does this mean for me?
If your website displays different content for desktop users than it does for mobile users, then this means you might be about to take a hit in the search engine result pages (SERPs). In some cases, when websites offer a separate ‘mobile’ version of their website to mobile users, some links and content are cut out in order for the pages to be easier to navigate for the mobile user.
This means that with this new update, Google won’t be seeing those links and content which aren’t there - which means those pages could take a hit in the SERPS.
If you have a responsive website, chances are this update won’t affect you too much. The same content should be seen by the Googlebot mobile and Googlebot desktop. If you have no mobile website, and your site is not responsive - the Googlebots will default to index your desktop website. But, keep in mind that Google already uses a number of ranking signals to determine where your webpages should land in the search results. If these bots find that your website does not support mobile users then that can significantly hurt your rankings in the SERPS.
The clear, best practice guideline moving forward is to optimise your website for the mobile user.
When will this update go live?
Google has already started making moves to roll out their mobile first index but this may take a few months to complete. As usual, no date has been specified as to when we can expect this to be finalised.
As mentioned earlier the best thing you can do moving forward is ensure your website is optimised for the mobile user. There are plenty of ways you can ensure this is done - from making sure site load speed is kept down to ensuring your webpages support a great user experience. If a visitor comes to your page and leaves after a few seconds, then you should take that as a clear indication they didn't find what they were looking for. If your mobile site has reduced content to help improve user experience - ensure that it still demonstrates your authority on the topic. For more information on this update - or if you have any questions - please contact our SEO services team on 0800 400 736