Google announced on Monday that they are rolling out their mobile first indexing. Traditionally, Google’s ranking systems have used the desktop version of a company’s website, however with the increase in smartphone users this is no longer the optimum solution. Whilst some companies have invested in ensuring that their websites are mobile optimised, there are still a large number who have focused purely on the desktop version of their website. This can cause issues when users are browsing on a smart device and a website either renders badly or shows a very different version for mobile.
To ensure that users are receiving the very best search results Google are moving towards using the mobile version of a company’s website for indexing and ranking. This does not mean that there will be two index’s, there will remain to be just one index but with increasing results based on mobile versions of content.
What does Mobile First Indexing mean for my Website?
In the short term, there will be no impact to your website as the roll out will be done over a period of time. If you are set up on Google’s Search Console they will contact you to advise that they are moving your website over to mobile first indexing. Once this happens the mobile version of your website will be indexed and displayed by Google instead of the desktop version.
How do I know if my site is Mobile Friendly?
For sites built on a responsive or dynamic platform your site should automatically optimise for mobile devices, you can check this by viewing your website on a smart screen and seeing if your content auto-adjusts to your screen size and displays correctly. If it does then your mobile site is mobile friendly. For sites that are built off-line and then uploaded to the web, you will need to have a separate mobile site developed. Google have a mobile-friendly test tool that you can use to check your website if you are unsure.
What do I need to do on my site now to ensure it is mobile friendly?
There are several things that you can action straight away to help prepare for mobile first indexing:
- Consistent Content: Ensure that both the mobile version and desktop version of your website have the same content. This includes copy, images and videos, and these should all be in the same crawable and indexable formats that you use on your desktop site.
- Structured Data: If you have structured data on your website ensure that the URLs in the structured data on the mobile version of your website are updated to mobile URLs. If you are using the data highlight provided by Google Search Console make sure you check it regularly for errors.
- Metadata: It is easy to forget about the metadata across your mobile site once your desktop site has been updated. It is best practice to ensure that titles and meta descriptions are the same across both the mobile and desktop versions of your site.
If you are concerned about your site not being ready for mobile first indexing don’t panic, Qlic are experts on website design and optimisation. Get in touch with us now to discuss how we can help you prepare your website on 020 3904 3464 or [email protected]