GOOGLE MOBILE FIRST INDEX: What Is It and How It Affects You
Google’s Mobile First Index has been talked about for a while now, and it was finally rolled out on 26 March 2018 according to the Google blog.
Google believe that mobile users should now come first because mobile search traffic actually trumps desktop searches in a growing number of countries. According to Google, mobile users come with a clearer search intent, therefore most Webmasters and Google should serve them first.
This is not to say that the desktop search is dying, because nor Google, nor the other search engines will stop indexing desktop traffic, they will simply place emphasis on the mobile content first, meaning it will be ranked higher than exclusively desktop content. So, if you want to get high in the rankings with the search engines, you need to ensure that your website is mobile friendly, otherwise you will no doubt experience drops in rankings and traffic over time.
According to Google engineers, Webmasters should rush to implement these changes as a matter of priority, and although sites that do not conform to these new guidelines will not be penalised overnight, it will be a gradual process.
Since this information is in the public domain and it’s no big secret, it makes perfect sense to start working on your sites to ensure a mobile friendly experience.
If your site is already mobile friendly, it will be fully responsive to the device being used at the time, automatically adjusting the layout.
But if you are one of the millions of Webmasters that haven’t taken stock of the recent changes, and your website only serves the desktop version, it is imperative that you start making changes including structured data, and ensuring that the content across your site is error free
Moreover, if your site is slow to load as well as being mobile unfriendly, you are at serious risk of incurring ranking penalties. If this happens, your site will need to be audited and changes would have to be made to help recover lost traffic and rankings. If you are using a content management system such as WordPress or Magento, implementing these changes is not all that difficult. Many of the free themes available can help you customise your site to cater for your needs. If you want more bang for your buck, you can choose a premium theme that will cost a bit of money but it will ensure that your content makes sense and everything is in the right order when a mobile user visits your site.
If you’re website is not powered by WordPress or some of the other leading content management systems, it could take quite some time to solve these issues, and you may even need a developer to help you do this.
If you are concerned about your site’s responsiveness, give us a call and we will perform a free audit for you and help you identify what steps need to be taken to get back into Google’s good books.