Mobile-first indexing is here but how does it affect you?
25th July 2019
Users are increasingly using mobile devices to access the internet and find specific websites. With mobile usage surpassing desktop usage in 2016 it became hard to not take note and change the way we design and develop websites. Designers have had to shift the way they think about design to now focus on those with smaller screens. As of July 1st, 2019 Google has now started to index all new websites with its smartphone Googlebot.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Originally when a user typed in their search term Google would crawl a websites desktop version to see if it was relevant to be shown. As the desktop version was considered primary it meant that it would be prioritized by SEO and treated as the most complete site. However, now it is the mobile version of your website that becomes the starting point for Google’s baseline for how they determine rankings.
Don’t worry though, it isn’t a mobile-only index, hence why it is called “mobile-first”. If a website doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version the desktop one will still be included. Unfortunately, this does mean that it will probably have a negative effect on the rankings of that website.
What do you need to do
Google have their own guidance on this subject. If your website is already responsive or equivalent across both desktop and mobile you probably won’t need to do anything. Depending on the state of your current mobile site, depends how much you need to do to ensure you aren’t ranking too low. Things like mobile site speed and good UX for customers matter more than ever!
If your website isn’t responsive then why not? Its 2019 people! This is the most important thing you need to have if you want to rank highly on the mobile-first index. The reason these websites rank so highly is that the design changes to fit the relevant screen – giving us the best of both worlds.
Your content may look great on desktop. But does it look so great on the mobile version? Long paragraphs of copy without frequent images breaks can be daunting to mobile users. Audio and video content also works particularly well on a mobile environment.
Don’t let your desktop focussed website stop you from ranking well. Mobile-first indexing is here to stay. Now is the time to make sure your website is the best it can be. And if you need any help with that get in touch! At Bopgun we’ve been making responsive websites for as long as we can remember! firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 1225 351715