'Mobile-First Indexing ' Google’s Begins Making a big change to Organic Ranking and Appearance

Google Mobile-First Indexing

As we know, Since 1997 Google has used the desktop version of websites to determine it’s search relevance and organic ranking signals in order to populate its organic search index.

Google has begun testing mobile-first indexing, using mobile content to determine it’s search relevance and organic ranking signals, which will primarily look at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals and eventually fall back on the desktop version when there is no mobile version available for user search query.

Most of Google Searches are Mobile

Google realized that most people search on Google using mobile devices, and the company has begun experimentation with switching to a mobile-first indexing methodology last year. This will be of particular interest to webmasters, depending upon the configuration of the websites under their management.

A detailed study released by Google reveals roughly 40% of people search only on a smartphone. More people are searching Google via smartphone than ever before the company says, with the most popular categories revolving around health, parenting, and beauty.

Other top findings from Google’s study include:

  • 80% of people use a smartphone
  • 67% of people use a desktop computer
  • 16% of people use a tablet
  • 57% of people use more than one type of device
  • 27% of people use a smartphone only
  • 14% of people use a desktop computer only

Dissecting these findings, it’s interesting to learn that of the people who only use one type of device, twice as many are using smartphones than desktop computers.

Google acknowledged the significance of the undertaking and wrote on the Webmaster Central Blog:

Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.

Although mobile-friendly sites should not require any changes, Google has made several suggestions for sites that maintain separate markup for mobile and desktop devices. Otherwise, sites optimized only for desktop consumption will continue to be indexed as they are now.

Google wrote:

We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.

For websites that do not currently offer a mobile-optimized experience, the news may inspire website owner and webmasters to quickly build and deploy a mobile version of their site. However, Google recommended a more careful approach and advised, as

If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site. It's better for you to build up your mobile site and launch it when ready.

No mobile site? Where to Start?

So you know that, Google prioritizing mobile over desktop sends a message that Website owners, webmasters and SEOs should do the same. At the very least, this means having either a mobile or responsive version of your website.

Having a mobile-optimized website is not enough for eligible top position on google organic search. In short, mobile-friendly is the bare minimum requirement, You should take care of following issue:

  • Follow Google Webmaster Guidelines.
  • Site Optimize for right keywords.
  • Website Speed Matters.
  • Have a healthy amount of google accessible text on your site.
  • Site images have descriptive ALT tags and filenames.
  • Make sure your site isn’t creating any duplicate content.
  • Have a XML Sitemap.
  • Backlinks from Authority Website.
  • Social Media Presence.

The best way to optimize your site for speed is to publish content using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology. If you’re not yet on board with AMP, I would recommend regularly checking on your mobile PageSpeed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test.

Keep load times as low as possible. Ideally, website owners, webmasters and SEOs should have these bases covered before Google splits its search index. No exact time frame was given as to when the split will happen, but in this industry, it never hurts to be proactive.

We will keep you posted

As we see changes to the Google search results and index, we will report back to you with any issues. When this mobile-first index fully rolls out, we will let you all know.