Is this MOBILEGEDDON? Google rolls out mobile-first indexing
Mobile-First Indexing, a closer look
Google goes on to say, ..our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.
What is “mobile-first indexing”?
Mobile-first indexing reports MOZ bloggers is exactly what it sounds like. It just means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. If you monitor crawlbot traffic to your site, you may see an increase in traffic from Smartphone Googlebot, and the cached versions of pages will usually be the mobile version of the page.
A seismic shift for SEO?
This represent a fundamental reversal in the way Google is thinking about your website content and how to prioritize crawling and indexation. Up until now the desktop site was considered the primary version (similar to a canonical URL) and the mobile site was treated as an “alternate” version for a particular use case.
What are SEO companies doing about mobile-first indexing?
There’s no need to panic! All our website are mobile friendly and responsive and the change is only just starting. Here’s why –
- change is in the very earliest stages of testing
- it’s being rolled out gradually to websites which Google considers to be “ready”
- most importantly if your website is mobile responsive that’s thumbs up from Google
According to Google’s own latest guidance on the topic, if your website is responsive or otherwise identical in its desktop and mobile versions, you probably don’t have to anything differently.
Although we’ll be checking our responsive websites, to ensure that mobile page speed and load time are prioritized and that images and other (potentially) dynamic elements are optimized correctly for the mobile experience.
To echo Google’s recap –
- Mobile-indexing is rolling out more broadly. Being indexed this way has no ranking advantage and operates independently from our mobile-friendly assessment.
- Having mobile-friendly content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better in mobile search results.
- Having fast-loading content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better for mobile and desktop users.
- As always, ranking uses many factors. We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show.