Google announced that search engines should be ‘mobile first’. Google and the other search engines are going to place more and more emphasis on mobile.
Google’s search results will be based on the mobile versions of web pages, including the results that are shown to the desktop users.
According to this new rule, mobile users are now the #1 priority and the desktop web is an afterthought.
What is Mobile First Indexing?
Search engines have four important parts to their search algorithm – crawling, indexing, retrieval, and ranking.
Crawling is the process by which Google follows links on the web to discover pages. Indexing is where Google turns a particular webpage into something useable for its ranking algorithm and stores it in their database. Retrieval is the part where the engine says “give me everything relevant to this query.” And finally, ranking is where it all boils down to. It’s where they order the results based on the number of ranking factors we are talking about these days.
As of now, Google has just one index based on the desktop site. When a user searches Google (desktop or mobile), the search results that come up are based on desktop index created by Googlebot desktop crawler.
The problem here is that oftentimes a user may click on a particular result by finding the search snippet relevant and then taken to the mobile version of the site, only to realize that the content they saw in the search snippet is not available on the mobile version of the site. This will clearly result in a bad user experience and there have been way too many cases such as these for Google to take notice and do something about it.
What Google Webmaster Central Blog says:
“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously.”
Here are four steps you can take to optimize your site for Google’s mobile-first index.
Making sure your site loads fast is essential to ranking on mobile. Here are a few things to consider when optimizing your page speed:
- Optimize images
- Minify code
- Leverage browser caching
- Reduce redirects
.3. Mobile Friendly Design
Unlike desktop PC’s, mobile devices come equipped with much smaller displays, which means design elements ranging from site navigation, scale of images, and placement of content need to be considered and adjusted to enhance mobile user experience.
4. On page as well as local optimization
Companies offering SEO services know the importance of on page as well as local optimization. With suitable titles and descriptions, on page optimization gets easier providing improved rankings and high click through rate. Moreover, Google has updated local search algorithm and it provides businesses, good local customers. Mentioning local place in the title, H1 heading, content body, URL etc helps in better visibility on search engine results.
You can go responsive or apply a perfect mobile skin, tweak your titles and meta tags or improve your page load speed.
Hope you found this article useful. Share your thoughts in the comments section.