Mobile-First Indexing & SEO

Google's mobile-first indexing impact on SEO.

In Google’s attempt to make the web more mobile-friendly, they will be changing the way they rank websites for their search results. You may have heard the term mobile-first indexing. But there seems to be some confusion about what this means to local business’.

What is “mobile-first indexing”?

Mobile-fist indexing means that the mobile version of a website will be considered the primary version of a website. This is where Google will start their index and give the initial determination of your rankings. “Mobile-first” doesn’t mean they only consider the mobile version of the site. But it is a reflection of the importance and need for a mobile-friendly experience. Sites with a “better” mobile experience could potentially gain a ranking boost over sites with a poor experience, even if the searcher is on a desktop computer. This also means that if your website has a responsive design, you may not see an impact in your search engine performance.

Mobile-first indexing vs. desktop-first.

Why Is This important?

This is an important change because Google is taking a new approach to the way it considers content. The major changes are the prioritizing of the crawl and its indexation. Another change that is coming will affect sites that have content that is collapsable or hidden in tabs. Google’s crawls will see the collapsed content the same as it sees visible content. Up until this time, Google has considered the desktop site as the primary version of your website. Google considered the mobile version as an alternate site. Because of this prioritization from Google, some “SEO’s” and marketing teams devoted their efforts to the desktop site. This left the mobile version or creation of a responsive website on the back-burner. For businesses that are concerned about your SEO, it will be important to transition to a responsive website.

Update on 3/27

Google officially started rolling out mobile-first indexing on Monday, March 26th 2018. This first phase is only for websites that follow Google’s “Best Practices” for mobile-first indexing. Google will be notifying sites that they are migrating to mobile-first indexing on their Search Console. These sites should see a significant increase in crawls from the Smartphone Googlebot.

What To Do About Mobile-First

There’s no immediate Sites that are not in the first wave do not need to panic, but it’s time to take this change seriously, especially if you care about your search engine optimization. At St. Louis Digital Media all of our websites are designed to be mobile-first and fully responsive. If your website is responsive and you’re happy with your rankings, you most likely don’t need to take any immediate action. Some precautions that can be taken to preserve your rankings would be to prioritize mobile page speed and load time. Optimizing images and dynamic features could also improve your user experience.


Need Help Or Have Questions?

Feel free to contact us today! We have extensive experience with Responsive Website Design and Search Engine Optimization.