Just over a year ago, Google announced a mobile-first indexing implementation, which would signify a major ranking change to its search index. This change, which puts mobile-friendly websites first, has been in the works for quite a while and yesterday was the big day!
On March 26, 2018, Google officially announced that mobile-first indexing is part of its best practices. In this blog we outline the three most important takeaways from Google’s announcement, and what it officially means for your business!
1. What is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing means that Google’s crawlers will consider the mobile version of your website the primary version (before desktop). The mobile version of your website will become the new baseline for how Google ranks your site.
This is a foundational change to the behavior of how Google previously thought about websites, in regards to
- Prioritizing indexation
- Search engine ranking &
Up until this point, the desktop versions of all websites were considered primary versions.
2. What if my website does not have a mobile version?
The good thing to remember is that this change is “mobile-first” not “mobile-only.” If your website does not have a mobile version and only has a desktop version, the desktop version will still be included in Google’s index. However, if your website doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, you’re missing out on an incredible amount of traffic.
60% of all traffic comes from searches completed via mobile.
It’s important for a website to be completely responsive and for a website and/or ecommerce store to boast seamless design and great user experience, no matter what device someone comes to your website though. We’ve written about this subject in depth before, so be sure to check out some of our previous posts for further explanation.
Suggested Read: Responsive vs. Mobile-Friendly Websites: What’s the Difference?
3. How do I optimize my website’s mobile version?
Now is a crucial time to evaluate your website and ensure it’s ready for mobile first indexing.
- Review your content, including text, images (including alt-attributes, and videos. Make sure that is high-quality.
- Structured data should have a mobile and desktop version on the site, so make sure that every URL has a mobile version for all mobile pages.
- Review your titles and meta descriptions. These should be present on both mobile and desktop website versions.
- Review the hreflang link on separate URLs for mobile.
- Check to see if your hosting server can handle Google increasing the crawl rate. This will not affect websites that utilize dynamic and responsive web design, but will affect websites that have a mobile version on a separate m.site.com host.
- Remember, there are no changes to interlinking with separate mobile URLs. According to Google, websites using separate mobile URLs, “keep the existing link rel=canonical and link rel=alternate elements between these versions.”
Suggest Read: Responsive Design for Different Screen Sizes & UX
Free SEO Audit Tool
Nervous about how this is going to affect your site? Don’t be.
Last week we released our free SEO Audit tool, just in time for you to check to see how your site is performing.
Check it out here: FREE SEO Audit Tool!
If you’re ready to see how your website will rank in the new mobile-first update or are looking to take your website to the next level, we’re ready to be your partner. Leave a comment below, or contact us for a free consultation!