What Google’s mobile-first index means for your website

Google has recently introduced a mobile-first index. This means, moving forward that Google will rank website search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users. Wondering how this will all work? Or how it will effect you? It’s a real possibility that in the very near future it will be better to only have a desktop version of your website. As compared to a poorly designed mobile-friendly one.

Google wants its index and results to represent the majority of their users. More than half of these users access the internet from their smartphones. Reacting to this, Google is treating the mobile version of each website page as the primary page. This should come as no surprise. Google has made many efforts over the years to reward websites that were mobile-friendly.

How should you handle your website moving forward?

The ideal situation of course, would be to have a fully operational and well-designed desktop and mobile website. Normally, in the user experience realm it is accepted practice to provide less content on the mobile-friendly version of your website. However, with the mobile-first index rollout, having less content on your mobile site might affect search results and prompt ranking changes. For example, if there is less content on homepage A than the desktop version of homepage A, then Google will only “see” the mobile version. 

This is something to seriously consider if you are in the market for a new website. It is also beneficial if you are looking to optimize your current site. If you have more questions about Google’s mobile-first index, check out these FAQ.

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