Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be enabling mobile-first indexing as a way to evaluate all new websites within its ranking system. This development came about as a result of an increasing number of people conducting searches on their mobile devices instead of their desktop. In fact, nearly 60% of all searches are now carried out on a mobile device.
What is Mobile-First Indexing?
According to this news release published by Google, mobile-first indexing is when Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your website for ranking and indexing purposes. This means businesses with websites that are not optimized for mobile devices may have a difficult time ranking in search engines.
Will Mobile-First Ranking Effect My Website’s SEO?
The answer to this question is largely dependant on the type of website you own. For example, if you have a desktop-only website, obviously mobile-first ranking will not affect your SEO. Other kinds of websites that will experience no change from mobile-first indexing are responsive sites that adjust for screen size and canonical AMP websites on which all pages are created using AMP HTML.
On the other hand, websites that will be affected by Google’s mobile-first ranking protocol are:
Websites with separate URLs for mobile and desktop devices – these are sites where each desktop URL has an equivalent mobile version. The desktop version will appear as www.sample.com whereas the mobile version will look like this: m.sample.com.
Websites with dynamic serving URLs – this means that your site displays different content depending on the type of device that is being used to access it.
If your site falls into one of the two categories mentioned above, there are a number of ways you can make sure to optimize it for mobile-first indexing.
How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile-First Indexing
After the team at Google incorporated the mobile-first indexing protocol into their algorithm, they didn’t want to hang their users out to dry. No, luckily they provided a few tips for those with dynamic serving or separate URL’s to help optimize their sites for mobile-first indexing.
Make sure your desktop and mobile content are the same – It’s called mobile-first indexing for a reason. If your desktop site currently has more content than its mobile counterpart, this is an issue you need to address immediately as you may be missing out on maximizing your SEO.
Include metadata on both desktop and mobile versions of your site – scan through your website’s titles and meta descriptions to make sure they are identical on both versions of your website.
Verify Your Server Power – you’ll want to make sure your server has enough capacity to handle the likely increase in mobile-crawl rates from Google’s search engine crawlers.
Make sure structured data can be found on both mobile and desktop versions – URLs found within the structured data on the mobile versions of your site should be updated to mobile URLs.
Bonus: Enlist the help of an experienced web developer – a great company with a history of creating mobile-friendly sites can be a valuable asset to your business. Contact CreoLogic web design today to learn how they can help build a site for you that is optimized for mobile-first indexing!