Here Is What You Need to Do When Google Rolls out Their Mobile-First Index
When it comes to technology, there’s no denying that Google is one of the companies leading the way. Much like its competitors, Google is consistently keeping its technology and programming up-to-date, and for you, that means constantly having to learn the latest and greatest gadgets and programs for both personal and professional use. Next up is Google’s mobile-first index.
What Is The Mobile-First Index?
is what determines what page results show up and where, when you conduct an online search with Google. Because now, more searches than ever are happening on mobile, Google wants its index and search results to match up with the majority of their users, who conduct their searches via mobile. When you perform a search, Google will now find your results from a mobile browser point of view, instead of a desktop browser point of view.
It’s important to note that Google isn’t creating a second, separate index. This mobile-first index will replace the current desktop-centered one.
So what does this mean for website owners? Should you go running back to your website blue print and plan to redo or revamp everything as you know it completely? Not so fast.
How Will the Google Mobile-First Index Affect My Site?
If you don’t already have a mobile site, don’t panic. Google will still find your desktop version instead, as they stated: “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.”
However, if you have a mobile site, you’ll want to make sure your content and links are as similar to the desktop version as possible so that Google can accurately scan the site and rank it as it did before. The term is “mobile friendly, be” and it’s incredibly important that your site is as mobile friendly as possible so that it functions optimally within the new index.
However, if your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, there may be cause for concern. Because this is a mobile-first index, Google will look at your mobile site first. Because of that, Google suggests that you ensure the content is consistent from your desktop to your mobile site.
How Will the Google Mobile-First Index Affect Rankings?
Chances are, you worked hard to get your site to rank well in Google. Or perhaps you were in the process of earning a top spot. Now what? Was all that work done for nothing? According to Gary Illness and Paul Haahr from Google, the mobile index shouldn’t change the overall rankings. That being said, it may be too early to tell, but that’s certainly the goal over at Google.
Pay Attention to Site Speed
Arguably the most important fix you can make to your current site has to do with site speed. Currently, site speed doesn’t matter much when it comes to how your site ranks in Google searches. But once Google debuts its mobile-first index, the faster you can get your site to load, the better. A lowcould cost your site customers as well as a higher search ranking. It’s suggested that you keep your load speed to less than a couple seconds, or even faster than that if possible. In this day and age, no one likes waiting!
The reality is thatlikely won’t stir things up too much, especially if you’ve already taken the time to make your site mobile-friendly. That being said, before the index is rolled out, there are steps you can take to ensure you and your site are well prepared for the switch.
First, keep in mind that you don’t have to completely redesign your site in time for the release of the index. Design should continue to be based on both your customers and your goals. It’s more important to create a website that allows for a great user-friendly experience. The web design you’re using should already be optimized for mobile usage, so changes in that aspect shouldn’t be necessary.
Make sure your mobile site is fully functional and has the same content as your desktop site. Content should be consistent among both sites. Finally, continue using the same SEO techniques you did before, including links, to ensure you maintain your ranking in Google’s index and pay close attention to site speed. Google plans to release the mobile-first index at the beginning of 2018 so be ready!