Google is now utilising mobile-first indexing in 2018 in attempts to provide users with the best experience across all devices. This transition has created an upheaval in the digital marketing sphere, but there’s no need to panic. Here’s what you need to know about this significant change:
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of your site as the starting point for indexing and ranking. Google continues to have a single index from which it serves the search results, but they will increasingly use the mobile version of your web pages.
What is the reason behind the switch?
Mobile continues to take the online world by storm with almost three billion users today. There are now more searches done on mobile devices than on desktop browsers, which is why Google is taking this trend seriously.
What should you do?
The good news is that most traditional SEO strategies will still work. There is no penalty if you only have a desktop version of your website as the search engine will serve the appropriate version to the users.
Nevertheless, Google strongly suggests having a mobile-friendly or responsive website. It’s one of the top ranking factors, after all. If it provides a poor mobile experience, your rankings are more likely to drop. Think of mobile first indexing like this – the mobile version will be treated as the primary version of your site.
To make sure your site performs well in a mobile-first realm, here are some important reminders:
- Server capacity – Your host servers should be able to handle the increased crawl rate.
- Mobile parity – A mobile ready website covers all the same bases your desktop site covers. Compare the content, internal links, and structured data.
- XML and media sitemaps – It’s important to keep links to sitemaps accessible from the mobile version of the site. Additionally, you should validate robots.txt.
- Check your server log files – Your log files hold the necessary data about how Google is crawling your site. You want to make sure that they’re crawling everything you want to appear in the SERP.
Googlebot Smartphone will begin crawling your site more than the regular bot, so don’t get left behind. Otherwise, you’ll miss a tremendous opportunity to stay on top of the competition.
Is your website ready for Google mobile first indexing? DigitalMaas can help you achieve a mobile responsive website and optimise it using SEO best practices. Sign up to our platform for free to get started.