Google’s Mobile-First Index: What It Is & It’s Impact on Mobile SEO!

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For the first time in 2016, mobile traffic has dominated the desktop traffic completely! That’s the reason why Google decided to change its search engine indexing algorithm.

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We’ve been hearing a lot about mobile-first index since Google first announced about implementing Mobile-first indexing back on November 04, 2016.

After a year and a half, Google has released an official article on March 28, 2018, regarding the rollout of mobile-first indexing.

But Why Should You Care About Google Mobile-First Index and How Does it Impact SEO? 

Well, you should Coz,

  • Google has already started the migration of websites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing. Google’s motive behind this change is to make the web more mobile-friendly and reflect user behavior trends.

Currently,

  • Most websites are barely optimized for the desktop and mobile. If Google switched its algorithm to mobile-first indexing suddenly, there might be a possibility that many sites that are currently dominating the competition would face a great SEO depression.

Is this going to hurt your website rankings?

Though mobile-first indexing strategy is still in the initial phase of testing and its rollout will be slow and steady. So, you don’t have to worry about it as it won’t affect your website ranking instantly.

But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and do nothing about it and wait for the rollout to happen on your website.

It’s coming whether you prepare for it or not..!!

So, let’s take a brief look at –

  • What exactly mobile-first indexing is?
  • How does it affect your website?
  • How can you prepare your WordPress website to avoid the negative impacts?

What is Google’s Mobile-first Indexing?

Mobile-first index means that Google will rank the search results based on the mobile version of the web page instead of desktop version to provide a better experience for mobile users.

In short,

  • Google will now consider the mobile version as the primary version of your website when it comes to indexing and rankings.

Why did Google decide To Switch Mobile-first Index?

We’re already aware of the crawling, indexing and ranking process of Google. Google used the desktop version of the web page for indexing and ranking so far.

After the mobile traffic dominated the desktop traffic,

  • Google noted that a vast majority of people are browsing from mobile devices and therefore visiting the mobile versions of the website.

But their indexing system is still indexing the desktop version of the website which was clearly a let down for mobile users when it comes to relevancy and mobile experience.

  • Google users were visiting low-quality experience when visiting from mobile devices..

..That’s when Google decided to switch to mobile-first indexing.

What Does Google Consider “Mobile”?

If someone asks me this question, “What is a mobile device?”. My answer will be pretty clear as a web developer, “Mobile & Tablets”.

Well here’s a catch,

  • Google doesn’t consider a tablet as a mobile device. In fact, it puts the tablet in its own class.

According to Google,

  • Mobiles = Smartphones (such as devices running Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone).

Here’s what Google has to say about different devices –

Google-mobile-first-index-impact-seo

Google Is Notifying The Users –

Sites that have been migrated to mobile-first indexing are getting a notification in their Google Search Console. There might be an increase in their crawl rates from the Smartphone Googlebot.

Google’s Search Console notification will look similar to something like – 

Search-Console-mobile-first-indexing

Wrapping Up –

It’s not the time to freak out! You still have time just get prepared for Google’s Mobile-First Index.

But if you don’t, you are straightaway ignoring over 65 percent of web users.

Prioritize Mobile!

Make sure your website is mobile optimized rather than just mobile friendly and all your site content which is on the desktop should also be on mobile. Take care of website speed, traffic, links and content friendliness.

This is the only way to keep yourself ahead of Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm.

What will be your hardest part to get your website truly mobile optimized? 

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