You may (or may not) have heard about Google’s “Mobile First” indexing and you may (or may not) be wondering what it is. If you have a website, however, it’s important. So sit back and we’ll explain all.In the last year, mobile internet browsing has overtaken that of desktop - 65% mobile to 35% desktop - and this usage is only going to increase. So mobile is proving to be pretty important. Up until now, however, Google has always ranked websites in its search results based on the desktop version of their site. Due to the continued increase in mobile usage, this is about to change.
Google have recently announced Mobile First indexing, which basically means that they are going to start ranking websites based on how “user-friendly” a website is on mobile. In their words;
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.
So what does this mean for you and your website?
Firstly, it’s important to note that Google are currently calling “mobile first” an experiment – meaning that this is likely to be a phased approach, giving people time to make the necessary website changes.
Secondly, if your website is already mobile responsive and the content is equivalent across both mobile and desktop you won’t have to do anything at all.
If the configuration and content is different across the mobile and desktop versions of your site, however, you will need to start thinking about making some changes to ensure that your site is fully optimised for mobile users.
So, in summary, Google is giving you plenty of notice and, if your site is mobile responsive already with the equivalent content, you are currently in the clear! In the near future, however, it looks as if we are all going to need to look at our website’s content differently to ensure that it fully engages with a mobile audience.