At a webmaster conference in mid-February, Google announced that starting sometime in March it would prioritize indexing the mobile version of a website over the desktop version of a website. What this means is Google is going to start ranking its search listings based off the mobile version of a site.
It should be noted mobile-first index is an experiment Google is running and the reason they are doing this is because desktop search queries are continuing to drop. As of 2017, 60% of searches are done through a mobile device, a 10% increase from the previous year, making the mobile version of the web the primary search engine people use.
If you don’t have a mobile version for your website, Google said it will still index your site. If you do have a mobile version, Google requests that all of the pages remain the same on both versions. With this new indexing system, Google has stated web pages that are not mobile friendly will not perform well. Now more than ever, it’s important to make your entire website mobile friendly as sites that do have a mobile friendly experience are expected to potentially receive a boost even for searches done on a desktop. In theory, if your content is optimized for mobile, there shouldn’t be any big impacts with how your site performs in search results.
Another factor you should think about before this ranking system rolls out that will affect your ranking is the speed of your mobile version. Google will also take into account your title tags and heading tags when ranking and if your images are optimized for mobile.
Google is planning on only having one indexing system in the future instead of different indexing systems for mobile and desktop. This indexing system will serve both mobile users and desktop users. This indexing system will just focus on mobile content. As Google’s mobile-first indexing continues to improve, the goal is to make it be the only system used.
At Sperling Interactive, we can not only build you a mobile version of your website, we can also optimize it to perform well in search results too.