Google today officially announced shifting towards mobile-first indexing for websites. Well, this has been in the pipeline for quite a time now (as Google itself claimed that it has been experimenting its testing), and today it was finally announced by the search engine giant.
For people unaware of mobile-first indexing, it refers to a change in Google’s algorithm to list websites on the basis of its content. Traditionally, Google crawler used the desktop version of website’s content to index, and rank websites. However, users have reported issues with mobile versions of ranked websites. Now, at a time when the number of mobile searches has surpassed desktop searches, Google has finally transited to the mobile-first indexing, so mobile users will have better results for what every service/product they are looking for. Website owners who are migrating to mobile-first indexing will be notified by Google. Such websites can expect increased Googlebot crawl rate. Moreover, the mobile version of the websites will be listed in search results, as well as in Google Cached pages.
It is important to note that mobile-first indexing doesn’t mean Google now has two separate indexing; one for desktop results, and another one for mobile searches. Rather, there will only be one search-index for both desktop and mobile searches; the only difference is that now websites will be ranked primarily for their mobile compatibility.
With this update, it is imperative for website owners to make mobile compatible sites with more dynamic web design, and fresh content. The mobile-first indexing will help websites that have traditionally maintained a mobile compatible version of their website to rank higher than those who have chosen to ignore mobile compatibility of their sites. Moreover, as per Google, the search engine will prefer non-AMP pages for mobile version over AMP pages.
At this point in time, websites that don’t compete in mobile searches don’t need to panic. According to Google, businesses out of this wave will continue to be represented on its search engines without any disadvantage; even after mobile-first indexing.
Now, this doesn’t mean that websites with incompatible mobile websites, should stay relaxed. Google has increasingly shown its favor towards the mobile version of websites and this is latest in line with its policies to transit from primarily desktop based on mobile based. The search engine giant has been encouraging website owners to make their sites’ content mobile friendly. The sites are ranked based on dynamicity of their content for desktop, as well as mobile sites. We can expect a lot more focus and significance on mobile-friendly content in coming years. Thereby, now is the right time for website owners to transit their way towards mobile compatible websites, in order to continue ranking at top positions in Google.
– A broad rolling of mobile-first indexing, at this point in time this won’t make disadvantage to ranking for websites with incompatible or absent mobile presence
– A heavy endorsement for mobile compatible content for websites looking to increase their ranking in Google
– Fast loading time can help achieve better ranking for desktop, as well as mobile website searches
– This isn’t the only variable in Google’s ranking algorithm, and there are various other variables that sum up to bring a website to the top position