From the moment we wake up in the morning, we’re checking our phones for the forecast, reading emails, checking our calendar and so on. Mobile phones are an integral part of our daily routine and now Google wants to reward websites that consider mobile users first. Until now, Google has indexed web pages as desktop browsers see them. With the new ‘mobile first’ approach, Google indexes web pages as mobile phones see them. The rankings will be calculated based on the mobile websites. What does this mean for your website?
Here’s everything you need to know for Google’s Mobile Indexing:
Do you have a mobile site? – Mobile websites will be given preferential treatment; but, the desktop version of the crawlers will not be abandoned. It will still crawl your desktop version if you don’t have a mobile website. Please keep in mind that mobile optimized websites will get more visibility and traffic, so give us a call if you don’t have a mobile site.
Are you serving a separate mobile site? – Simplified mobile sites are not going to make the cut. You’ll need to make sure that your mobile website looks similar to your desktop website and that your mobile pages contain enough content to rank your pages. If your mobile pages have less content than your desktop pages, your pages might get lower rankings with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ index.
What about tabs, accordions, & expandable content? – Previously, compressing content into a read more link or hidden container resulted in that content not getting indexed by Google. With this ‘mobile first’ Index, things have changed. Expandable content makes much more sense on a mobile platform because of limited screen space and will now count count towards SEO.
Will Google keep the desktop indexing? – For now yes. However, all signs are pointing to Google moving towards one index, the Mobile Index.
What if I don’t have a separate mobile site? – Hopefully this means you’ve worked with a web design agency that created a mobile-responsive website design. This means you have one website site that adapts to whatever device it’s viewed on whether tablets, mobile phones, or a desktop browser. If you’re not sure, visit Google’s mobile-friendly test site or contact us for a free consult.
If you don’t have a dedicated mobile site or a responsive design, now is the time to get one. You won’t become invisible in the new mobile index, but you also won’t rank as well as you could have. Remember that these efforts are not just for indexing (SEO) purposes, but also for mobile users. The majority of users search on mobile. Google is prioritizing mobile sites that make it easier for users to find what they’re actually looking for, and discover high quality, valuable content and resources.