What does this mean?

The trend has long been moving towards mobile dominance in search and now Google have announced that they will soon be splitting their indexes into desktop and mobile, with the priority index being mobile. Google recognises mobile friendly websites to be more user friendly and already prioritises them in their search results, but when these new changes are rolled out, websites that are more mobile friendly than others will rank better in the mobile index. It also means that the desktop search pages will not be updated as regularly as Google moves to a much more mobile focused search engine results over the coming months.

With online sales growing year-on-year, the need for a mobile friendly website is vital. The evolving technology, particularly mobile devices with larger screens has led to people using their mobiles daily to browse the internet and purchase online. Well over half of Google searches come from mobile devices which is a key reason behind the update, to further optimise the mobile experience for users and deliver the most accessible content.

The main implication of this change will affect those businesses who don’t have functional mobile versions of their site causing them to rank a lot lower in Google’s search results. This change emphasises that for any business that still does not have a mobile friendly website, and values their search traffic, the site needs updating.

For the last eighteen months Ascensor have only built mobile first websites which means they are built to deliver the best mobile experience as a priority, with the desktop version being heavier and more suited to a larger screen. These websites will meet the expectations of the search engine changes, unfortunately websites built before 2015 will not and so even though they may be mobile responsive, they are likely to be built desktop first which will not deliver the most optimised mobile performance.

As Google moves to a mobile first index, businesses looking to keep up with the changes in the search engine results on mobile will need to review their website code.

What is a mobile-first index?

Google indexing can be defined as the process of adding webpages into Google search. Google will then proceed to crawling and indexing your pages into the search engine. At present, Google crawls and indexes the desktop version of your source however this update will mean the mobile version of a site’s content will be primarily used to rank pages.

When will Google launch the mobile-first index?

The mobile-first index is currently in the process of being tested and it is live for some users on a small scale. It will gradually be pushed out to more and more searchers if Google are happy that the update creates a great user experience meaning that ultimately it will likely replace the desktop index.

What should you do?

If your website is not mobile friendly then it needs to be – now is the time to have your website reviewed and any new website built should always be built mobile first. Optimising for mobile will meet the requirements of the search engine and give your business a boost once the changes are rolled out.

If your website is mobile friendly then have it reviewed to ensure it is built to be mobile first. This means it is fully optimised for the smallest screen sizes and there is a focus on delivering the best user experience on the mobile device.

We can review your existing site for you and provide advice on how you can be ready for these significant changes, contact us for details.

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