What is Google Mobile First Index?
How Does it Affect SEO?
The paradigm shift is underway for the Google Mobile first index! According to this report by Stone Temple Consulting, 55% of the traffic on the internet is now being generated via mobile phones and tablets. With the current rate of growth, we can safely say that the mobile era is upon us. What does this imply? Perhaps, you’ve heard of Google’s mobile first index? Do you know how it’ll affect SEO? Buckle up, you’re in for a ride!
What is Google Mobile First Index?
Mobile first index simply means that your SEO rankings will be based on the mobile version of your website rather than the desktop version. Clear enough, right? It means that priority will be given to the mobile experience and the mobile version of your website will be considered the primary version.
Thankfully, it is called Google mobile first, not Google mobile only. So, websites which do not have a mobile version will still be indexed. However, the absence of mobile-friendliness might negatively influence your ranking on search engines. Considering the fact that 79% of global internet traffic will be mobile by the end of 2018, this is an expedient switch to make.
Why is Google Bringing up the Mobile First SEO?
In case you’re wondering, they aren’t out to make your life more difficult. In fact, this is a shift in the right direction. The ultimate aim is to enhance the browsing experience of users and it is only right that these websites are optimized.
We can also attribute this development to the report released by Google in 2017 which showed that majority of websites are 3 times slower than normal.
How to Stay Ahead With Google Mobile First Index
Now, there’s no need to panic. With Google, there’s an answer to every question (no pun intended).
The major requirement is to have a mobile-responsive website. Kindly note that there’s a difference between mobile-responsiveness and mobile-friendliness. You should opt for a website with its primary content and page elements syncing dynamically between desktop and mobile.
As you might’ve guessed, Google prefers this approach to website design since it allows the server to transmit a similar HTML code to both the desktop and mobile device. In addition to this, flaws which cause pinching, zooming, expanding, etc. in mobile devices are not present when a mobile-responsive website is in use.
Apart from this, what else do you need to look out for with this mobile first SEO development?
You need to be sure that the mobile version of your website contains all the important SEO-friendly content present on the desktop version. Also, this content (text, images, videos, etc.) must be crawlable and indexable as it will play a major role in this mobile first index situation.
2. Structured Data
Time and again, we have come to understand that structured data helps search engines understand your content better. It has more impact in the mobile SERPs and you should optimize this accordingly.
The meta description on the mobile version and the desktop version of your website should be the appropriate. Both the title and the length of your characters should demonstrate this.
4. Switchboard Tags
It is important to have mobile switchboard tags implemented on your website to get the best out of this mobile first index. Google has advised that a separate mobile version of your website with switchboard tags be created as an alternate HTML tag.
Now you know all that pertains to Google mobile first index. Although there’s still plenty of time to implement the suggestions above, the earlier the better. Also, note that Google is still taking time to roll this feature out and there’s no rush.