SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Mobile-First Indexing: Everything we know, and how it could affect you

Last Updated: April 11, 2017

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For the past five to six months the search industry has been buzzing with talk around the biggest change to Google search results for quite some time – the mobile-first index. In the midst of this noise, it is very easy to get lost with what you actually need to know about the update. This post will give you a quick overview of what the update entails, as well as the main things to check for on your site to prevent a loss in traffic. What is the Mobile-First Index? The mobile-first index is a change in the way Google is going to index content. Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a site and then bases how it will rank the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, the opposite of that will happen. Google will begin looking at your mobile site and from that, will rank the desktop site. When will it be released? While we are still waiting for an official release date, we do know the update is in the pipeline and being tested. Whenever Google gives us further news on when the update will be released, they repeat the message that it is still ‘months’ away. From their comments, we can assume the release is going to be in the second half of 2017. Why is this happening? Nearly two years ago Google announced more searches occur on mobile than desktop. As mobile is now the predominant way for people to search on Google, it makes sense for them to ensure the experience on this device is as good as it can be. In lots of situations, sites provide a worse or thinned down user experience on the mobile device, that is not as good as the desktop site. This happens more on mobile sites where separate URLs are used or where dynamic serving is being used. What to check on your site Content Look at the mobile version of your site. Is the content from the desktop version visible/accessible? You should be providing a consistent experience for users no matter the device they access the site on. One of the things to consider is the actual content on the site. If you are currently removing or hiding content on your mobile site, think of ways in which you can have this content on both. You ideally want content to be accessible regardless of how the site is accessed. Make sure you also consider the best way to move this content over to the mobile site. You do not want to sacrifice your user experience just to meet this requirement. For example, do not put a content block with 300…

Source: Mobile-First Indexing: Everything we know, and how it could affect you

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Sam Underwood

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