Google’s mobile-first indexing – How to make sure your website keeps getting noticed

It’s no surprise that Google’s announcement that it will shift to mobile-first indexing is currently taking the internet by storm. Fortunately, most people with a website built in the last five years should be fine.

But first the burning question – What is mobile-first indexing?

Google operates by sending “spiders” throughout the internet that crawl through your website, gathering information for search engine rankings and to help Google decide if your website is suitable for certain listings i.e. the top of its search rankings. It looks at things such as page speed, how keywords are used, the size of the page, and more.

Because roughly 60% of web traffic is coming from mobile devices, Google has made the decision to formulate its rankings based on the mobile version of your website instead of the desktop version. Essentially, the complete opposite of what was happening before.

The key here is not that Google will solely consider the mobile version of your website (it’s not mobile-only indexing), but that Google will consider your mobile version as the primary version. Google is only just rolling these changes out – it still will take a few years for everything to be switched over to mobile-first indexing.

The good news: If you’ve already optimised your website for both desktop and mobile, you’ll most likely not be affected. This means:

–          Your website pages are loading fast, preferably within three seconds;

–          Page size is less than 5MB;

–          Images are optimised;

–          You have a mobile optimised version of the website (crucial);

–          The mobile version of your website doesn’t remove content, and is not a m.yourdomain.com (i.e. your website will be www.yourdomain.com regardless on mobile or desktop).

Don’t worry if your website has collapsible content, or it’s hidden behind a box for space issues. The content is still there, but you’ve paid attention to usability (which Google loves).

As Google is currently rolling this process out, you’ll know if your website is being switched to mobile-first indexing via a message from Google in your Google Search Console.

If your website is not optimised, or perhaps you don’t have a mobile version, we strongly recommend you get in touch with us. This is because:

–          If your website is not optimised, or is performing slowly on mobile, you will be missing out on customers;

–          You’ll most likely be getting negative penalties in search rankings, which will be impacting traffic and potential customers;

–          You may find yourself in a position where you’ll be penalised more harshly when Google fully implements this mobile-first indexing update.

If you have any further questions, please get in contact with WaltersPR, and we’ll be happy to help further.

 

WaltersPR [James Kelly]