The Rise of Mobile First Indexing
The introduction of mobile first indexing by Google marks the latest development in browsing experiences to adapt to the increased use of mobile devices for surfing the web. It comes as an effort by Google to not only attempt to make the internet more mobile friendly but also to reflect the latest behaviour trends, stressing the importance of the mobile in today’s technology-centric societies. Formally, the search index was desktop concentrated, the desktop version of the site used to be seen as the main version. However, the mobile version of the site is now to be considered the sites primary form.
The adoption of the mobile-first index is, therefore, a direct result of the tremendous change in the way in which we browse. The majority of web searches are now made by mobile devices rather than desktops; mobile-first indexing seems like an organic development.
Nevertheless, it is important to highlight the fact that the mobile first index is by no means mobile only. It will still incorporate desktop versions, ensuring that sites in which do not have a mobile counterpart are included but are predicted to receive reduced traffic due to desktop versions being slow and uncomfortable for users to navigate when accessed on a mobile device. This will ultimately result in lower rankings. You can test your sites speed using Google’s ‘Test My Site Tool.’
To benefit from this and to receive improved SEO rankings, you should ensure that your mobile and desktop sites are equivalent to one another in terms of quality and speed. The sites do not have to be exactly the same but the quality of the content contained in them should be equivalent. Meaning that the mobile site has been developed to be optimized for mobile devices to advance user experience with responsive designs. There will be small differences needed such as changes in text and image layout due to space limitations etc. By indexing, crawling and ranking mobile sites, this could be seen as Google acting as a motivator to encourage companies to create mobile-friendly versions of their sites so that overall user experience when browsing is increased. It means that when browsing from a mobile device the user will not have to pinch or zoom to view content.
This fundamental change is a necessary one due to the simple fact the majority of those browsing, are doing so from a mobile device and this is only going increase.