You may have heard the term ‘mobile first indexing’ thrown around this year, with yet another Google change that can affect how accessible your website is on the Google search results. But what does it mean for your business?
What is indexing?
In simple terms, indexing is the process Google uses to add webpages into its search results. Google does this by sending a bot to crawl over your pages, read the content, and index your pages so they may show up in a user’s search results.
Traditionally Google would use the desktop version of your website to determine this.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing crawls the mobile version of your site first, rather than the desktop version. Google then uses that site to determine the rankings for mobile, followed by desktop. Google only has one index which it uses to serve the results, so this is Google’s move to prioritize mobile results, due to the high number of users who now use mobile as their primary device for search.
While the desktop version will still be considered, not having a mobile site or having a poor mobile site could negatively impact rankings.
How will Mobile-first indexing affect your website?
As Google begins to consider your mobile site as the primary version of your site, you need to ensure that your mobile experience is receiving the same amount, if not more, care and attention than your desktop site.
If your site only has a desktop version, you will still be represented in Google’s index, however you may receive poorer ratings and a lower ranking compared to mobile-friendly competitors.
The key to providing a mobile friendly experience includes:
- Easy navigation.
- Fast page load speeds.
- Rich and valuable content.
- Engaging digital experiences.
Is Your Site Already using mobile-first indexing?
Google has not rolled out mobile-first indexing on all sites at the same time. Your site may or may not have switched over, so you may still have the chance to fix your mobile site issues before this change affects you.
You can see if your site is mobile-first index enabled in Google Search Console. If you don’t already have a Google Search Console account then it is recommended you get one immediately. If you are not sure what this entails, send us through an enquiry and we can let you know how we can assist with setting this up.
How Mobile Friendly is your website?
An optimized mobile experience is the key to getting good results in a mobile-first world. At the very least, having a mobile version of the site, or a responsive website design will help you with mobile-first indexing, but there are a range of other factors that will also determine how ready your site is for this change.
Google provides a very helpful tool to determine if your site is mobile friendly – The Mobile Friendly Tester Tool.
You can also request a quote for a Mobile Site Audit which will provide you with everything you need to know about your site’s mobile performance and what you can do to improve your mobile search results.