Google Mobile First Indexing Changes the Way Website are Being Ranked
Google has always been the game changer and this time, it has done it again. Rumor has it that Google’s new “Mobile-First” index is going to be the death of desktop SEO.
This new algorithm, app or whatever you want to call it is going to change the entire process of website ranking. In the course of this article, we will explain what Mobile First index is and how using it can get the ball back in your court.
Mobile First Index
Before we start listing down the never ending advantages of Mobile First Index, let shed some light on what exactly is Mobile First Index.
Being a website or blog owner, you probably would be familiar with how Google crawls your website in order to add pages to index. That is, it acts like a real user who is surfing your website and is following the links present on your web pages.
Previously Google acted as a desktop user to crawl your website, however, now Google will act as a mobile user when crawling on your web page. This is going to make a really big difference.
For starters, there are many websites that have two different versions, one a mobile version and second the desktop version. Generally, a mobile version is always light, does not contain heavy graphics, whereas a desktop version is a full-fledged website with high-resolution pictures and graphics.
Also, many links that are part of the desktop version of the website are not seen when the same web page is browsed using a mobile phone. This is pretty bad because Google won’t be able to find the links as they aren’t there and you are bound to take a hit in the SERPS.
But what if you have the same website version for both mobile and desktop users? Problem Solved? Hardly, since Google incorporate a number of factors to determine the site ranking, so in case the bot figures out that your website is taking long in order to load, you are back to square one. As a full desktop version website is bound to take more time to load especially when a person is using mobile internet.
The important thing to remember is, when performing SEO for your website, you should start with optimizing it for a mobile audience. That is the best solution at the moment.
Reasons for switching to Mobile First Index
After working a decade on SEO, why has Google suddenly decided to switch to Mobile-First Index? The answer is pretty simple, Mobile is everywhere. A person might not own a laptop, but he/she is bound to have a personal cell phone.
This means that the number of desktop users is less as compared to the number of mobile users. Despite knowing for some years that there more mobile searches instead of desktop searches, Google did not work on it. Google says they believe they are late in the game, but it’s better to be late than never.
Don’t have a Mobile Friendly website
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, what does this mean? You must be wondering what will happen to your website. Rest assures Google bot will still crawl your website through its desktop version. But if you ask us, we would recommend that you should get your mobile responsive website. Anyone who plans to make a statement online needs to have a mobile responsive website.
What happens to expandable content?
When you put content under a read more link, the Google bot does not index that content. However, this has changed now with mobile first index. According to Google’s Gary Illyes, text that is hidden in accordions and tabs is going to have the same weight as the content that is plainly displayed on your web page. This is a big win for SEO and UX.
He also said that expandable content makes more sense on a mobile as compared to on a desktop as there is a mark difference between their screen sizes.
When will Mobile first Index Start?
Google has already started rolling its first version of mobile first indexing. Nonetheless, it is going to take months before you would be able to see its full implementation and impact. Despite being asked, again and again, Google refuses to give the exact date on which the rollout would be completed. This is mainly because the organization is still testing code.
The company did say as the gain confidence in the code they would roll out more and more searches.
Effect of Mobile First indexing on Ranking
We doubt that Mobile first crawling is going to make a significant impact on the ranking, but there is a caveat. Both Paul Haahr and his cohort Illyes said that it is too early for us to say that mobile first is going to make a mark difference. But if your website isn’t user-friendly, it is less likely that it gets a high ranking despite using good keywords.