Mobile-First Indexing, Why Should You Care!

  • November 27, 2016

Desktop browsing was common among web users a few years back. However, with the increasing spread and penetration of mobile technology and the proliferation of smartphones, more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for Google content. This has prompted Google to create a mobile-first search index. This means that Google’s index will give preference to crawling the mobile index of websites to comprehend the process of content indexing in search. According to search engine optimization experts, this can affect future mobile-based Google content search.

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Then And Now

The earlier indexing habits of Google were based on crawling web pages designed for desktop searching. They were later indexed inside both desktop and mobile search results index. Now, with smartphones becoming the preferred tool to search for content, a change in indexing methods was in order according to Google. As their present algorithm does not evaluate the page that a person will see through their mobile device, users will be viewing limited content on their smartphones than what they will probably view on their desktop.

 

Is this an Unexpected Move?

The mobile-first indexing experiment will continue on a small scale now. It will be scaled up at an appropriate time when IT engineers are convinced that they have indeed managed to substantially improve the user experience. They are aware that the project needs continuous tweaking as they move ahead. Digital marketing companies and SEO professionals have their work cut out as they will have to make changes to their strategies and internet marketing tactics to comply with the changes that Google will soon roll out after the mobile-first indexing experiment is done.

While many people see this as a sudden and unexpected move, the fact is that it is not. Google has been planning this for some time now. They have taken steps to prepare web users, webmasters and SEO specialists for this major shift. All those associated and connected with the process are being encouraged to read their recently-released recommendations and understand them carefully so that the transition can be made smoothly.

 

How It Can Affect Your Website

If your website has already been designed to be responsive or dynamic and offers primary content that functions in the same manner on desktop and mobile, then you can relax as no changes will be needed. Alternately, if your website configuration is such that the primary content and markup is incongruent from one another, then you have to mandatorily incorporate the changes suggested by Google to make them appear the content and ease of use uniform on all browsing mediums.

 

Use Testing Tools To Compare Versions

You will have to serve a structured markup for both the desktop and mobile versions of your website. Compliance with the newest notification necessitates this step. You can use online data testing tool to verify the structured markup across desktop and mobile. It is a simple process in which you just have to feed the URLs of both mobile and desktop versions into the tool. The output provides an accurate comparison.

Adding of structured data to the content must also be done in a proper manner. Content marketing companies must avoid adding data in large quantum. They must also take care to avoid adding data which is not relevant to the existing content. Keyword optimization must be also done with care as there is a tendency to overdo the optimization bit at times by some marketers. Webmasters can make use of advanced testing tools to ensure that the mobile version of their website is accessible to Googlebot.

 

Where Changes Are Not Needed

Websites are not required to make any changes to their canonical links to comply with the responsive site needs stated by Google. In this matter, Google has made it clear that these links will be used as guides to deliver the most appropriate results to users searching for content on desktop or mobile. The mobile version of your website must be verified in the Google Search Console only after webmasters have verified their desktop site.

Those who only have a desktop site need not worry about making any changes or deal with compliance rules. Such websites will be indexed normally as they were done earlier by Google. This will hold valid even if the website is using a mobile user agent to view their website.

 

Websites Must Be Launched Only When Fully Ready

An important thing that webmasters who are in the process of building a mobile version of their website to consider: A desktop version of a website that’s fully functional is preferred to an half-finished and partially-functional mobile version. Google advises you to first build your website and launch it only when it is fully ready in all respects.

There are many important and rapid developments taking place on the responsive web development front. Webmasters and SEO professionals are keeping a close watch on the announcements coming from Google. Search engine experts must remain alert and think on their feet because a few tricks and tactics that they are using for achieving high rankings today may become completely irrelevant tomorrow.

It is important to adapt and comply with the changes stipulated by Google to be able to get high ranking and ensure that your business remains relevant to today’s market. Webmasters and search engine optimization experts associated are excited about the announcement about mobile-first indexing. They know that they can learn a different aspect of technology and utilize it to boost business prospects.

 

Reference:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html

About kanika

Kanika is an expert in digital marketing with a series of successful campaigns to her credit. As the Digital Marketing Manager, she has been instrumental in bringing in newer ideas and innovative ways of implementing them for broader success. She help businesses to understand the tremendous power and reach of Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing.

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