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Google’s Mobile-First Indexing - What this means for websites

Posted by Amanda in Industry News | April 2018

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Mobile-First Indexing is the latest development from Google and means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for Google, their index, and how they determine the ranking of your website.

Previously the mobile version of your website was treated separately by search engines, with m. domains being used to separate desktop and mobile sites. Since then, many websites have become responsive (for mobile), meaning one domain can be used.  

Now, rather than the desktop version of your website being the primary focus for Google, the mobile version is the driver.

Why has Mobile-First Indexing been introduced?

This Google development aims to make the web more mobile friendly, and also reflect trends in user behaviour such as the wider adoption of the use of smartphones to browse the web.

In 2017, 52.64% of global online traffic was via a mobile according to Statista, and is set to increase rapidly in the next 3 years.

What does this mean for websites?

The name ‘Mobile-First’ means that mobile is the priority, however, it does not mean mobile-only.

It does look at desktop sites if there is no mobile version available, however, this could have a negative impact on how your site is ranked.

Having a mobile site which is also optimised for mobile search will give your site a boost over those who don’t.

What next?

The Mobile-First Indexing development is only in its early stages, with Google testing a few sites initially, so there’s no need to panic, particularly if you’re ranking well and happy with the leads you are getting.

However, to get ahead, there are a few things you can do;

  • Get a responsive website if you haven’t already
  • If you have a responsive website, prioritise mobile page speed and load time
  • Focus on UX (user experience) when it comes to navigation and content
  • Ensure images are optimised for correctly and not slowing the site down
  • Make content mobile-friendly,  don’t cut corners, prioritising your desktop content

If you’d like to find out more, or to discuss the performance of your website, please don’t hesitate to contact our digital experts on 01772 591100.

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