Don’t Be Last: How to Survive Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

Beginning July 1st of this year, Google is enabling mobile first indexing by default. Therefore, the search engine will look at your mobile site content first for indexing and ranking purposes. What does this mean? More importantly, what does this mean for your website?

google first mobile indexing

What is mobile-first indexing?

Mobile-first indexing means that Google will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content for indexing and ranking. Sites that do not have a mobile version will continue to be indexed by their desktop version. The mobile-index is not a separate index, it is simply the first place that Google will look for when searching through websites.

How mobile-first indexing affects you

Previously, Google used the desktop version of a page’s content for indexing and ranking. Now that Google will focus on the mobile version, it is essential to have a website that is mobile-friendly. If the content on your website is not optimized for mobile, your SEO ranking could be negatively impacted. Most WordPress sites have a responsive design for mobile and desktop, so these websites are already optimized and will not be affected by the change.

In some cases, information and content are hidden on mobile-sites to prevent excess scrolling and create an easier user experience. It is vital to establish the content that will be featured on your mobile website. Make sure no information that can improve SEO is hidden in the mobile version.

How you should respond to mobile-first indexing

Establishing a good ranking is easier when your site is mobile-friendly. Check out Google’s Mobile Friendliness Test to see if your mobile version is optimal. The Test is an excellent resource as it explains the specific issues with your site and areas of improvement.

Speed is a crucial factor for mobile users, so make sure your pages load fast on the mobile version. Check out Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to see how fast your site is. Image size, multi-media embeds, and amount of content are some elements that affect the speed of your website. You can improve your page speed by ensuring your content aren’t large file sizes.

Make sure your mobile version has the same high-quality, relevant content that exists on your desktop site, which includes text, images, and videos. The written content should be mobile-friendly, which means short sentences and condensed paragraphs with plenty of whitespace in between. Additionally, the font size needs to be large enough to read given the smaller screen size.

Mobile-friendliness is no longer a perk but a must for an effective business website. Over half of people access websites on mobile devices and many redirects to websites through mobile social apps. If you take the steps necessary for improving your site’s mobile responsiveness, your search rankings will remain optimized.


Karen Leonard
August 24, 2018

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