Google’s Mobile-first Indexing
09 November, 2016 | SEO
Google has announced that they have begun testing its mobile-first indexing.
What they mean by this is that Google will begin to primarily look at the mobile version of your website to determine where a web page should rank.
Google has chosen to do this because most people are searching on Google via mobile devices and have been for quite some time.
Up until now, Google has used the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the search term; however as mobile webpages tend to have less content than the desktop page this can cause issues as the page isn’t the same as what the mobile searchers are seeing.
So to fix this issue, Google will now focus on the content, links and structured data of the mobile version of your website (if available).
“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. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we're going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”
This is currently just a test, but Google have said that they will carefully experiment over the next few months on a small scale but are likely to “ramp up” the change once they are confident it will deliver a great user experience.
Will this affect your website?
If you have a responsive website or a dynamic serving website, as long as the content and markup is the same across mobile and desktop then no, this won’t affect you.
If your website has different content/markup across mobile and desktop then yes and you should consider making changes to your website immediately.
Bear in mind, just because you have a mobile website doesn’t mean you are safe. If your mobile website doesn’t display all your content, then it will affect you.
These changes will be happening over the next few months so you have time to make the crucial changes to your website before it will affect your SEO.