Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Is Taking Over The Web!
Earlier this year, Google announced that they would be switching to mobile-first indexing for the whole web, just a few years after the concept was announced. With businesses starting to re-open but consumers continuing to make the most of shopping online, it is crucial that your site is prepared for this switch, helping to ensure that you don’t miss out on any valuable opportunities.
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Table Of Contents
- What Is Mobile-First Indexing
- What Does This Mean For Me
- Importance Of Responsive Web Designs
- Mobile-First Indexing Best Practices
What Is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing sounds pretty straight forward and, if you’re accustomed to the world of Google, it’s not difficult to figure out. However, for businesses just getting started or stepping into the world of Search, it’s important to understand the implications associated with mobile-first indexing. According to Google’s Developers blog, mobile-first indexing means that:
“Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward.”
What Does This Mean For Me?
From September 2020, Google will be switch to mobile-first indexing for all websites, meaning that you just have over a month to prepare your site for the full transition. A Google Webmasters blog explains that:
“When we switch a domain to mobile-first indexing, it will see an increase in Googlebot’s crawling, while we update our index to your site’s mobile version. Depending on the domain, this change can take some time. Afterwards, we’ll still occasionally crawl with the traditional desktop Googlebot, but most crawling for Search will be done with our mobile smartphone user-agent.”
The blog also explains that Google’s guidance on “making all website work well for mobile-first indexing” continues to be relevant, despite the switchover coming very soon. The blog states:
“We recommend making sure that the content shown is the same (including text, images, videos links), and that meta data (titles and descriptions, robots meta tags) and all structured data is the same.”
Within this, Google also highlight the important of double checking these elements when a website is launched or, in some cases, redesigned.
Importance Of Responsive Web Designs
Despite the switch, Google is still encouraging businesses to ensure that their web designs are response and “suggest not using separate mobile URLs because of issues and confusion we’ve seen over the years, both from search engines and users.”
There are numerous reasons for doing so, including that mobile usage is on the rise, with more people searching on their mobile devices than ever before. Due to the convenience of searching on a mobile, the number of people shopping on a mobile device is also growing, with many preferring to check out quickly via their phone or tablet.
Having a responsive website isn’t just a benefit to your visitors, as a responsive site can also improve SEO rankings because they provide a “better user experience than sites that are not mobile friendly.” Google also favours responsive websites that use single URLs for separate versions of sites.
Mobile-First Indexing Best Practices
Before Google makes the complete switch to mobile-first indexing, there are numerous mobile-first indexing best practices you need to implement onto your site. You can read Google’s complete guide, here.
- Use the same meta robots tags on mobile and desktop site.
- Don’t lazy-load primary content upon user interactions.
- Let Google crawl your resources.
- Make sure that your mobile site contains the same content as your desktop site.
- Use the same clear and meaningful headings.
- Make sure that your mobile and desktop sites have the same structured data.
- Use correct URLs in structured data.
- If you use Data Highlighter, train it on your mobile site.
- Provide high quality images.
- Use a supported formant for images.
– Google’s Mobile-first indexing best practices guide by Google Developers
If you haven’t already begun to consider how to make your website mobile-first ready, now is the time to prepare.
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For more information, get in touch with a member of our expert team at Absolute Digital Media on 0800 088 6000, today.