Mobile-first indexing is changing online businesses

Mobile-first indexing is changing online businesses

Considering the fact that the majority of internet users access the Google search engine from a mobile device, it makes sense that Google would prioritise the mobile version of a website’s content instead of the web version.

This is what mobile-first indexing refers to, and it’s a fairly new development that Google made official last year. As such, it has become an integral part of bespoke website design.

What is mobile-first indexing?

In practical terms, mobile-first indexing is the mobile version of your website. This mobile site is then used by Google for ranking and indexing purposes. This is to better serve mobile users who are the primary users of the Google search engine.

That’s why it’s so important for business websites to use responsive themes that are able to adapt to the user’s needs, as this will mean immediate adherence to mobile-first indexing. That said, there are still websites out there which are yet to migrate over to mobile-first indexing because they still consist of two versions; mobile and web-based. These will have to be updated in order to keep up with best practices or else face falling into obscurity.

Google indexing roll-outs

Not too long ago, Google confirmed that it would be rolling out a new form of indexing that would prioritise mobile content over web-based content. However, only those websites which adhere to mobile-first practices would benefit, and although this was a small number initially, it has grown significantly over the past year.

Websites that have transitioned to mobile-first indexing are generally notified via Google search console messages. These messages will basically let the website owner know that they might start seeing an increase in Googlebot from now on as a result of their site being a part of mobile-first indexing.

You may also notice that it’s the mobile version of your website that’s generating the majority of your Google search results. These and other changes in Google search results are pretty much the only difference you’ll notice after switching to mobile-first indexing, which you can get as part of a bespoke website design package.

Recommended practices

  • While you can get away with reducing the word count on your mobile content in order to save space, make sure that it’s not too different from your website content as skimping on value will definitely cost you when it comes to rankings in the long run
  • Make sure you check your robot.txt directives
  • Make sure that there’s metadata on both the web and mobile versions of your site
  • Make sure that there’s systematic and proper data structuring on both the mobile and web versions
  • Analyse links
  • Use search console to verify both the mobile and web versions of your site
  • Make sure that your server has enough capacity to handle mobile-first indexing