Are you ready for Google’s mobile-first indexing?
23 January, 2018 | SEO
Today, around 58% of people are searching on Google via a mobile device.
In light of this, Google is continuing their efforts to make the web more mobile-friendly by gearing up to roll out a major algorithm update called Mobile-First Indexing.
This update is exactly what it sounds like; it means that Google will start by viewing the mobile version of your website first, and using it as a baseline for how they determine your rankings.
What you need to do?
According to Google, if you already have a responsive website that maintains everything of the desktop version of your website on a mobile device, then this algorithm update (in theory) will have no impact on your websites performance within the search engine, which means you may not have to do anything.
That being said, you will have to ensure that the mobile version of your website is optimised for mobile page speed and load time as page speed will now be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Remember, that with mobile-first indexing, if the content/markup is different across mobile and desktop devices then it may have a negative impact on your rankings within Google.
When will this happen?
Google has already begun to test their mobile-first indexing on a handful of websites, but it won’t be rolled out to the masses until some point in 2018.
Google stated in a Webmaster blog post in December 2017, that they “will be evaluating sites independently on their readiness for mobile-first indexing based on the above criteria and transitioning them when ready. This process has already started for a handful of sites and is closely being monitored by the search team.
“We continue to be cautious with rolling out mobile-first indexing. We believe taking this slowly will help webmasters get their sites ready for mobile users, and because of that, we currently don't have a timeline for when it's going to be completed.”
What should you do if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website?
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, your content will still be indexed within Google; however you won’t rank well in comparison to mobile-friendly websites. This is likely to have a negative impact on your overall rankings on both desktop searches and mobile searches, as non-mobile-friendly websites are perceived by Google as having poorer user experience than other websites.
If you wish to improve your current rankings or maintain your existing rankings then it is crucial that you ensure your website is fully optimised for mobile and that it is mobile-friendly otherwise your positioning within Google will suffer.
Find out if your website will be safe from Google’s mobile-first indexing by requesting a free website review here.