Since it was created Google has been changing the game when it comes to how search results are calculated, making sure changes in user behavior and mobile technology updates are always factored in. This is great for consumers, because it means they are always getting the most useful and relevant content! But it also means that websites have to change with the times to keep their ranking in the search results, especially with the upcoming transition to Mobile-First Indexing.
So what is Mobile-First Indexing?
Starting a few years ago, Google announced that websites with mobile-friendly versions would start ranking higher in mobile seach results than websites without a mobile version. This change only effected mobile search rankings, but forced many businesses to update their mobile versions to stay on top of both mobile and desktop search rankings. You can read our previous post about mobile search result changes here
Fast forward to 2017 when Google warned that it would begin to take steps towards mobile-first indexing. This transition takes the changes they made to mobile search ranking and applies it to all search results. Meaning if your website doesn’t have a mobile version ( or even a less mobile-friendly website then your competitors) you will start ranking lower in search results regardless of whether the user is on a desktop or mobile device.
When do these changes happen?
While Google has been focusing on mobile responsiveness for some time now, when Mobile-First indexing was first announced in 2017 the expected transition period was to be some time in 2018. Seeing how 2018 is already upon us, if you haven’t prepared for this update now would be a good time to start.
How do I prepare for the update?
Unfortunately some websites tend to provide different content on the mobile vesions then they do on desktop, or are not set up to be mobile responsive. Here are a few things to check for to make sure your website is ready for these upcoming changes:
- Responsive design:
- This is the most important step in ranking well on the mobile first index. Does your website change based on the device used, and respond to different size screens? This will be the new standard of web design in the future, so its a good idea to invest in a website with responsive design now.
- Mobile Optimized Content:
- This is a step futher then just responsive design, and focuses on changing content to match consumer behavior. Most mobile users have a shorter attention span, and smaller snippets of engaging content can help keep users on your site.
- Page Speed:
- Google has factored this into ranking a page for a while now, but it doesn’t hurt to double check how your website loads on mobile and desktop. If it takes more than 3 seconds for your site to pull up on any device, you may be losing customers and lowering your search ranking.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS READY
We know what it takes to make sure your site is prepared for mobile-first indexing before the transition starts. Making sure your website looks great on every device is a standard part of our web design process!