Towards the end of last year, Google decided to mix things up in the digital marketing world and release a ‘mobile-first’ index. What on earth is this we hear you ask! We have created a useful article that breaks this down for you.
What does mobile-first indexing mean?
So firstly, let’s explain what a mobile-first index is. In short, a new type of Googlebot has been developed which browses your website as if it’s a mobile user (as opposed to a desktop user). Although this may seem like a minimal change, it has some important consequences that you need to know about.
Key points to be aware of:
- Firstly, the Google algorithms will rank mobile-optimised sites higher than non-optimised ones. As you can see from the below, over 80% of internet searches are now carried out on a mobile – even more reason for you to get on the bandwagon.
- Another point to mention is that those ‘read more’ links that everyone was advised to stop including – well we have news for you, the tables have turned! With the introduction of this mobile bot, Google has realised that it makes much more sense to have expandable content on mobile platforms. They finally understand the time-restrictions of business owners! This means that additional pages will now be crawled and therefore indexed, encouraging the use of expandable content. Sounds weird to hear that, doesn’t it?!
What do you need to do?
We would strongly advise that your website is both desktop and mobile-friendly. Missing links on your mobile version could have disastrous consequences on your search engine ranking, even though these links may work fine from a desktop.
Page load time is also something to think about – a load time any longer than 3 seconds is very likely to be abandoned by users. The Googlebot will see this as a bad user experience, and your ranking will take a hit as a result.
Mobile is undoubtedly here to stay
If you don’t have a responsive mobile-friendly site, it isn’t the end of the world, but if you are serious about marketing your business online then you should strongly consider it.
With such a large proportion of mobile users, why wouldn’t you want that additional traffic to your site? The Googlebot will continue to index desktop sites, however Google themselves have indicated plans to improve it further if all goes well. Initially, there will continue to be two indexes, so both your desktop and mobile sites will be looked at. Eventually the desktop index could be completely diminished.
You can test whether your website is mobile-friendly using the handy tool on our previous article.
I want to know more about mobile-optimisation
Please feel free to contact us for help on how to check your website is set up for this big change, and to ensure your SEO is heading in the right direction.
If you are concerned about how the changes affect you please contact us on 01472 878 496 or firstname.lastname@example.org