Google Rank Changes to the Mobile-First Index

A mobile-first index allows Google bots to use the mobile-optimised version of your website to index and rank, aiding mobile users to find the desired information. Google bots have traditionally used the desktop version of websites for their crawling, indexing and ranking systems, which impacted the experience of mobile searchers. This is looking to change as early as 2018, as the company has been experimenting with its Google rank indexes.

With the increase in mobile search, it’s no surprise. Adapting to the increase in mobile search across the world, Google has begun to adapt its primary indexing base. Some website rankings may benefit from the change to mobile-first indexing, while others may suffer from their dependence on desktop content.

See below Nicoh’s tips on preparing your own website to the upcoming changes to the Google rank systems and remember – we’re always here to help.

Your Mobile vs Desktop Website

If you don’t already have a mobile site, don’t stress. Although Google wants you to have a full mobile site, in its stead it will crawl your desktop site. Even as their mobile-first index grows, your desktop-only still will still be indexed as always.

If you do have a mobile site, it’s important to ensure your content and links are similar to your desktop version. This allow Google to consumer the content and rank your site as effectively as it did before the mobile-first index.

Your Content

If you’re concerned about the differences in the amount of content on your mobile site versus your desktop version, that’s okay. While the new mobile-first index will look at your mobile content, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to copy all your desktop content to your mobile site.

It’s smart to go with a responsive approach for your content. This adapts the amount and type of content shown depending on the viewing device. This mobile-first index change can be an opportunity for your business to examine and refine its content to form more concise, effective communications.

Sites with elements like tabs, accordions or expandable boxes will not be weighted as high in desktop uses. However, these elements make much more sense on a mobile site, so sites with these streamlined elements may be given more Google rank weight.

Your Google Rank

Google representatives were quick to note that this mobile-first index change should not alter the current overall Google rank. Their goal is not to have the index change impact the current Google rank, but optimise them for the evolving searching audience.

While concerns have been raised regarding mobile content containing fewer links and content than its desktop counterpart, Google have yet to address these issues directly. The mobile-first index implementation is in its early stages, so no doubt there will be more information available in the coming months.

Need Help Preparing for the Mobile-First Index?

There are three simple steps to take to prepare your website for the upcoming changes to the Google rank index.

1. Ensure your load speed is optimised for mobile devices;

While Google aims for under a half-second load, the threshold is around 2 seconds for e-commerce websites

2. Test your website for mobile-compatibility and responsiveness; and

3. Align your mobile website links and content to those on your desktop version.

If you’re feeling lost, you’re not alone.

Our experts at Nicoh are ready to help you become Google rank ready, no matter the future changes to index algorithms. We strive to assist businesses from organising your finances, payroll, building your website, filling your site and optimising your marketing – including search engine optimisation. Our team can get you on top.

Contact us today for a FREE website audit and strategy consultation.

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