In November, Google started implementing their latest experiment: mobile first indexing. As more and more searches are being performed from mobile devices than from desktops, Google wants to make sure they are providing the best user experience possible. And if a site has different or less content on the mobile version of their site, the mobile user could be receiving inaccurate search results.
What does this mean for you as a user?
This means that when you perform a search, Google may use websites’ mobile versions to generate and rank search results – even for searches done on a desktop. While they are in this experiment phase, you will likely not be able to tell whether your Google searches are being done using mobile or desktop indexing. As Google tests this new system, they will randomly and gradually move larger audiences of users to the new indexing system.
What does this mean for you as a website owner?
In 2015, Google made a change that required websites to be mobile-friendly in order to rank well in search results. This latest change takes that a step further. Now you not only need a mobile-friendly, or responsive, website; now you need to make the mobile version of your site a priority when it comes to SEO.
If your site is already responsive and there is no big difference in content from desktop to the mobile versions of your site, this change shouldn’t affect your search rankings. If there is a difference in content across different versions of your site, or you don’t have a responsive site, now would be a good time to take another look at your mobile content and SEO.
Google doesn’t know yet how long it will take to make the full switch from desktop to mobile first indexing. It all depends on how their testing goes. Meanwhile, making sure that all versions of your site have high quality SEO should be a top priority.
Technology is always evolving, and it can be tough to keep up with it all. That’s why we’re here. As always, if you have any questions about this new system, SEO in general, or anything else website-related, don’t hesitate to give us a call: 202-409-8113