Mobile-first indexing and what it means for your site
For those who haven’t heard, Google will be rolling out mobile-first indexing sometime this year (as early as Q1 2017). Basically, this means that mobile versions of a page will be used for the purpose of search rankings. If your site is using a mobile responsive design, that is, using the same content for desktop and mobile devices, good job! No need to worry.
If your site is using different mobile URL’s to display your pages and have reduced or different content that is not optimized for your pages keywords, you may have some issues to deal with (or a lot depending on how your site was set up). When Google fully rolls out this strategy, and your content is not mobile friendly or you are using different content for mobile devices, your search ranking and traffic may drop significantly. Because of this, a new SEO strategy may also need to be implemented for your keywords to start rankings again, which of course, is a process that does take time.
Alternatively, many CMS’s have the ability to display different content for both mobile and desktop devices. Just make sure the same content is being displayed across all devices and mobile URL’s and you should be fine. One of the first things I like to check when performing a site evaluation is to check for mobile friendliness. I usually use Google’s mobile-friendly tester to do this. It’s a quick test that helps me determine if a complete redesign is necessary.
Finally, the perfect reason for that long overdue redesign
Today, mobile devices are everywhere and use them for everything while we are on the go. According to official Google statements, in an article from searchengineland.com, more than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices. So Google’s move to a mobile-first index makes sense. With technology and how we use it, strategies must also change.
I don’t judge, but if you have a website that does not pass the mobile-friendly test, maybe it’s time for a site redesign. Even if your site does provide that same content as desktop devices, but is not be mobile friendly, Google will give preference to those sites that are mobile friendly. Just one more reason to for that long overdue redesign.
In a nutshell, if your site doesn’t pass the mobile-friendly test, it’s time to talk to professionals that know how to help you make sure your site is ready for the mobile-first indexing from Google (oh yeah, forgot to mention that we would love to help you with that determination. I know, shameless plug).
Until next time,
Xpotential Marketing Group