What Is Google’s Mobile-First Index?

  • November 15, 2016
  • SEO
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Prepare yourself for another head-banging session – we’re about to deliver yet another algorithm update from Google. Many people missed the development of the Mobile-First Index which was announced on Google Webmaster Blog last November 4, 2016. It’s now a major part of Google’s algorithm.

So, here’s a nice breakdown of what is Mobile-First Index actually is. It’s helpful to know about all of these new features:

What’s New in Google’s Mobile-First Index?

  1. Basically, the Mobile-First Index is a new part of Google as it tries to start ranking all content on search listings looking at it through a prism of mobile content. If your content loads poorly on a mobile device, then Google will make sure that you feel the punishment for that in the wrong way.
  2. Even for listings that are for desktop users, it will be looked at through a mobile-first design style. We aren’t really 100% sure why this change was first implemented, but it’s been here for a while now and there is a good chance that most people missed the opportunity to make the most of it.
  3. This new Mobile-First Index is fair on the basis that the majority of searches are now carried out on a mobile device. Ergo, so long as it suits the majority, then there should be a movement forward to try and make that the point that is to be addressed. As such, the Mobile-First Index is merely reflecting the fact that, for the first time, the majority of online searches come off mobile devices.
  4. Fear not if you do not have a mobile website. Google says that it would like you to have a mobile site, but won’t be handing out bans and blacklists if you never bothered to set up one. It will also crawl the desktop version instead and, so long as it works methodically on a mobile device, you should be OK.
  5. However, if you have a mobile site it might need some work. Google will be expecting you to make both mobile and desktop versions as similar as possible of content style, links and pages etc. so if this is not the case with your own device, you’ll need to do a bit of adjustment to make it so.
  6. If your mobile site is less enjoyable and has less content than the desktop version, then you have your work cut out for you. This is going to be a big problem in the long-term, if not a major one at this moment in time. Google has said that it will look at your mobile site – and if you have a bad mobile site, it’s better to have no mobile site, essentially.

The best option is to have a mobile-friendly website to avoid any issues with Google.

If you need help with web design, you might want to check out our web design service. If you like what you see, feel free to take a look at our web design packages as well. Contact us today if you want a mobile-friendly and responsive website!

Pat is a 29-year-old digital marketing specialist. He co-founded ExaWeb, a team of SEO experts and specialists in the Philippines, which provides online marketing services to local and international clients.

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