What Does Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Mean for Your Website?

October 11, 2018 By

Barker-&-Calkins-DevicesMost of us understand the importance of having a website that works well on mobile devices. But how does Google’s mobile-first indexing, rolled out earlier this year, affect your website rankings and how can you ensure that customers will still find your site?

What is this all about?

Indexing is a term that references how search engines collect content. Google used to index the desktop version of a page’s content when determining relevance to a user’s search query, with a mobile website considered to be an alternative version. However, since the majority of searches are now performed on a mobile device, Google wants to make sure those users are receiving an optimal experience.

Enter mobile-first indexing

Now, the mobile version of a website is becoming the baseline for how content is collected. Essentially, this is meant to help mobile users find what they’re looking for. Keep in mind that mobile-first indexing is NOT about how content is ranked. If you don’t have a mobile or responsive site, your desktop content will still be represented in the index. As long as your website can be viewed on a mobile device – even if it’s not pretty – then Google will consider your site to be mobile.

However, mobile-friendly content is still more important than ever, since all content in the index will be evaluated to determine how well it works on mobile.

What should I do if I have a responsive website?

Nothing – congratulations! You probably will see very little change in your rankings but you still need to pay attention to the user experience on your site. Ensure that your copy is tailored to mobile (shorter sentences, adequate whitespace, concise paragraphs) and consider the mobile user experience. Make sure navigation is intuitive and, on ecommerce sites, that users can easily add products to cart and check out.

What should I do if my site has separate desktop and mobile content?

Most importantly, ensure your mobile site has the same content as your desktop. This be may an onerous task if your site is large but it’s well worth the effort. Make sure that metadata is included on both versions and it’s the same in both places.

Do you need help?

Stellaractive’s SEO team is ready to evaluate the responsiveness of your website! We’ll examine your website, learn about your business and your customers, and provide a recommended plan of action that will bring the right people to your site. Contact us to get started!

Want to learn more about Google’s mobile-first indexing?

Google has provided information about mobile-first indexing and best practices for mobile-first indexing.

The Moz Blog has a post titled, “How Does Mobile-First Indexing Work, and How Does It Impact SEO?

Read “5 Things You Need to Know About Mobile-First Indexing” from Yoast.

 

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