Google’s mobile-first indexing is pretty much a done deal. It was announced in early November and rolled out in December, so you should have gotten the message by now. The good news is that the change isn’t going to happen overnight—you still have time to prepare for it. But if you want your site to start ranking better on Google after its mobile-first update, then you need to start working on making sure both your desktop and mobile sites are up to date!
What Is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing is a way of organizing the information on the internet that Google indexes. Google announced it in 2018, and now it’s live: if you want to rank well in Google and Bing, you must make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Google has been using the desktop version of your site as its default for many years now, but it’s no longer looking at content on a desktop screen as its primary concern. As people use their phones more and more (with over 50 percent of searches taking place from mobiles), it makes sense that Google would change its focus accordingly. The term “mobile-first” refers to this shift in how search engines work—they’re now looking for URLs, meta titles, and descriptions on a mobile device before they do so with desktops or laptops.
What Does Mobile-First Indexing Mean For You?
It’s not as dire as it sounds. This changes how search results will be displayed, rather than how your website ranks in Google. Mobile-first indexing won’t affect how you rank at all. It will only affect how Google ranks your site (and therefore displays it) on mobile devices and tablets.
In short: if your site doesn’t have good mobile friendliness, it won’t rank as well in mobile searches. If it does have good mobile friendliness, that’s what will come up first when someone searches for something on their phone or tablet!
Why the Change?
The underlying reason why Google is making these changes is that they want to provide the best search results possible. As we all know, Google wants to help people find what they’re looking for in the easiest way possible. This means providing relevant results tailored to each user’s needs and preferences.
However, this cannot be easy if a website isn’t structured, so Google understands how it should index its content. For example, if one page has different content than another page on your site (even though you think it shouldn’t), then Google might not be able to tell which page should rank higher (and thus shown first).
When Is the Change Going to Happen?
Google is currently rolling out mobile-first indexing to a small percentage of users. Based on our timeline, we expect the rollout to be complete by April 21, 2019. It’s important to note that Google has not provided any specifics about the order or pace of this rollout. So there’s no way of knowing exactly when your site will be affected.
We recommend that you consider updating your mobile pages before April 21 in case you don’t get notified until after this date.
If you have already started working on updating your site for SEO purposes and are close to completion, wait until after April 21 before launching it live since there’s no guarantee when Google will reach you with its changes. This way, your new version can benefit from being at the top of search results for as long as possible!
What To Do Next?
If you’re a business owner or marketer, it’s essential to understand that mobile-first indexing is a long-term process. Having a site that doesn’t have a good user experience and isn’t accessible on mobile devices, you will be excluded from the index (and therefore from search results). If your desktop site isn’t performing well on mobile devices, you might consider revamping it before it’s too late!
Make sure your mobile site is as good and up to date as your desktop site
The most important thing you can do is to ensure that your mobile site is as good and up-to-date as your desktop site.
Mobile-first indexing is about showing Google that you have a fully functioning, high-quality website on both devices — not just one or the other.
Here are a few things you should do over time to ensure this:
- Ensure your mobile site is mobile-friendly (it should meet Google’s guidelines).
- Make sure your mobile site is fast (Google prefers loading in under 2 seconds).
- Make sure your mobile site is secure (ensure all internal links are secure HTTPS links).
Every year, businesses face the challenge of making their websites work better. With Google’s mobile-first indexing initiative, this task has been made easier. However, there are still some things that can trip you up and make your site less mobile-friendly. If you have a website and want to know more about how it could be affected by this change, keep reading our blog!