Google’s mobile-first indexing has been a topic of discussion for some time now, and it’s finally here. With more and more people using mobile devices to search the web, it was only a matter of time before Google made a change to its ranking algorithm to prioritize mobile-optimized websites. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at what mobile-first indexing is, how it works, and what you can do to make sure your website is ready for this change.
What is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing is a new way of ranking websites in Google’s SERPs. In the past, Google would use the desktop version of a website to determine its ranking, but with mobile-first indexing, Google will now prioritize the mobile version of a website. This means that websites that are optimized for mobile devices will have an advantage over those that are not.
How Does Mobile-First Indexing Work?
Google’s mobile-first indexing works by crawling the mobile version of a website first, instead of the desktop version, to gather information about the website’s content, structure, and other factors that determine its ranking. If a website has a mobile version, Google will use that to determine its ranking in the SERPs. If a website does not have a mobile version, Google will still use the desktop version to rank the website.
In addition to using the mobile version to determine a website’s ranking, Google will also use it to determine the content that is displayed in the SERPs. This means that if a website has different content on its desktop and mobile versions, Google will use the mobile version to determine the content that is displayed in the SERPs.
What Do You Need to Know?
If you want your website to be ready for mobile-first indexing, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Optimize for Mobile Devices
To ensure your website is ready for mobile-first indexing, it’s crucial to optimize it for mobile devices. This means creating a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. Responsive design ensures that your website looks great on any device, whether it’s a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.
- Ensure Content Consistency
To avoid confusion and ensure that your website is properly indexed, make sure that the content on your desktop and mobile versions is consistent. Google will use the mobile version to determine the content that is displayed in the SERPs, so it’s essential to ensure that your website’s content is the same on both versions.
- Speed Up Your Website
Make sure your website is fast and easy to use on mobile devices. Google considers page speed when determining a website’s ranking, so if your website is slow to load on mobile devices, it could hurt your ranking. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your website’s page speed and identify areas for improvement.
Here’s a chart showcasing some examples of websites that have been impacted by mobile-first indexing:
|Website||Date of Impact||Result|
|Reddit.com||March 2018||Significant traffic increase from mobile devices|
|Theverge.com||May 2018||Significant traffic decrease from desktop devices|
|Foodnetwork.com||August 2018||Significant traffic increase from mobile devices|
|Yellowpages.com||September 2018||Significant traffic decrease from desktop devices|
|Study.com||February 2019||Significant traffic increase from mobile devices|
|Businessinsider.com||March 2019||Significant traffic decrease from desktop devices|
- Test Your Website
To ensure that your website is ready for mobile-first indexing, test it using Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. This tool will analyze your website and provide recommendations for improvements.
5. Use Structured Data
Structured data helps Google understand the content on your website, which can improve your ranking in the SERPs. You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to ensure that your structured data is implemented correctly. Here’s an example of structured data implemented on a recipe website:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Recipe">
<h2 itemprop="name">Classic Cheesecake Recipe</h2>
<img itemprop="image" src="cheesecake.jpg" alt="Cheesecake">
<li>1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs</li>
<li>1/4 cup sugar</li>
<li>1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted</li>
<li>Preheat oven to 350°F.</li>
<li>Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.</li>
<li>Bake crust for 10 minutes.</li>
<li>Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until well blended.</li>
<li>Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until just blended.</li>
<li>Pour filling over crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is almost set.</li>
<li>Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating.</li>
Here are some frequently asked questions about optimizing websites for mobile-first indexing:
- What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing is a process where Google primarily uses the mobile version of a website’s content to index and rank pages in its search results.
- Why is mobile-first indexing important?
With the majority of online searches now happening on mobile devices, it’s essential for website owners to ensure their sites are optimized for mobile-first indexing to improve their visibility and rankings in Google’s search results.
- How do I know if my website is mobile-friendly?
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check if your website is mobile-friendly. This tool will analyze your website and provide recommendations on how to improve its mobile usability.
- How do I optimize my images for mobile-first indexing?
To optimize your images for mobile-first indexing, ensure that they are compressed and reduced in size without compromising quality. You can use image optimization tools like TinyPNG or Kraken.io to compress your images.
- What is structured data and how does it help with mobile-first indexing?
Structured data is a way to mark up your website’s content so that search engines like Google can better understand it. Using structured data can help improve your website’s visibility and rankings in Google’s search results.
- How do I improve my website’s speed for mobile-first indexing?
To improve your website’s speed for mobile-first indexing, you can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze your website’s speed and find ways to optimize it, such as by reducing the size of images or minifying code.
- What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and how do they help with mobile-first indexing?
AMP is a web development framework designed to create fast-loading mobile pages. Implementing AMP can improve your website’s speed and provide a better user experience on mobile devices, which can positively impact your rankings in Google’s search results.
Google’s mobile-first indexing is a major change to the way it ranks websites in its SERPs. To make sure your website is ready for the change, you need to make sure that it is optimized for mobile devices, that the content is the same on both the desktop and mobile versions, and that it is fast and easy to use on mobile devices. If you need help getting your website ready for mobile-first indexing, contact AS6 Digital Agency today.