Have you prepared for the arrival of mobile first indexing?
Like it or not / prepared for it or not, mobile first indexing is here! In our latest blog posting we’ll look at what this means and how you are potentially missing out on a big opportunity if you have not taken steps to get on-board with this.
It’s official that Google is now using a mobile first indexing which is a million miles away from the position a few years ago when everything was focused around desktop. This changed has arrived because of the explosion of smart phone / mobile searching and what has become the need to make information searching more portable and ‘on the go’.
Google Webmasters have issued guidelines and information on what mobile first indexing actually means. Essentially, for indexing and ranking purposes a mobile version of the page will be displayed to accommodate the biggest part of the audience (yes, mobile users!) At the moment Google uses what is called a single index but this is being changed to use a version based on a mobile site to appear for content and site rankings. This is a massive process in all and will not happen overnight. So although the day has arrived (now passed) for mobile first indexing to begin, it doesn’t mean the process or job is now complete!
Google is keen to stress that it is still important to follow traditional SEO procedures and to those people who have desktop sites only, will not be face any consequences or find that their website is negatively impacted.
A list of guidelines has been produced showing how website owners can check whether they are ready for this mobile first indexing revolution. These include:
1) Ensuring desktop and mobile sites are ‘mirrored’ with respect to content, links etc.
2) Look to make sure robots.txt are valid.
3) Check the log files on the severs and ensure you have the ability to cope with a different crawl rate.
Google have encouraged webmasters not to panic in the short term because they will receive notices and plenty of warning through the search console if issues are found with their website as the mobile first indexing gathers further pace. It is obvious that with a change as big as this and having far reaching consequences, that Google is trying to do all it can to educate its audience and help make any transitions as smooth as possible.
The best thing people can do in the short term is to follow the advice above, and keep updated with any information that may come out in relation to this causing users to alter their path as they deal with the implementation of this. One thing that is clear is that this is a massive opportunity for webmasters to benefit from this change and engage with an ever growing mobile audience whose habits have altered for a greater appetite of dealing with more information in a consistently portable, faster and more demanding way.
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