More people now use mobile devices to conduct online searches. In fact, just two years ago, the number of mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. Given this shift, Google has been intensifying its efforts to offer users a better mobile search experience. They believe that the first step in doing so is through the introduction of the first mobile index.
Why Google is Changing it Up
The first mobile index is Google’s way of responding to the way people use the search engine site. The company wishes to address the sub-optimal results users are seeing in mobile searches, such as obtrusive ads and scaling issues. The index will allow the company to streamline search results for a better mobile user experience.
How It Impacts the Future of SEO
Given Google’s penchant for changing things up, those in the SEO industry should know to prepare for the impact of the company’s first mobile index. One way to handle this is by proactively dealing with — or better yet, taking advantage of — the imminent mobile index changes by identifying possible affected sites and rectifying the issues.
Sites Affected by the First Mobile Index
Sites not ready to handle the rollout of the first mobile index could be in for difficult times. Marketers may be surprised that, after using a rank checker software to determine site ranking, their sites are lagging behind due to the new indexing process. Desktop sites with no mobile version, as well as desktop sites with a different look from its mobile counterpart, are two types of sites that may require heavy revisions prior to the full implementation of the first mobile index.
In the first scenario, Google will start indexing the website using mobile Googlebot and then determine if it’s a desktop or mobile version. As the site does not have a mobile counterpart, it may not appear in the new index. In the second scenario, the mobile site might not rank if it has less content than the desktop page. This is because Google’s algorithms are unable to evaluate the actual mobile page properly.
Although Google has not yet announced the actual date of the first mobile index rollout, SEO Marketers should act immediately to resolve any issues on their sites. Those looking to take advantage of the rollout should make the necessary preparations, such as creating functional mobile and desktop versions of the site.