In April this year, Google announced plans to change to mobile first indexing.
Websites will now be crawled first on mobile, then desktop. This doesn’t mean that desktop page content will no longer be crawled or indexed, but Google is making it clear that the future is very much mobile and for businesses and brands whose website isn’t optimised for mobile, there could be serious consequences.
According to Mumbrella, in Australia, mobile market share is 39%, compared to desktop at 51% and tablet at 10%. While desktop usage here remains dominant, mobile is growing fast, and the tech giant wants to ensure its users are delivered the best possible content experience on the device they use the most.
In a blog post announcing the change, Google explained the change, “Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
What does this mean for your business website?
If your website does not have a responsive layout, has a slow loading speed or poorly designed navigation and content, your ranking is likely to decrease if you don’t optimise your site for mobile before the shift.
How does this shift website design?
“The idea is to start designing for the device with the most limitations first [the mobile] and then add functionality as you go for devices with bigger screens and more capabilities [tablets and PCs], because this way even the most limited version will already include the most important functionality.”
Responsive sites that serve both desktop and mobile should be fine, if they are following best practice guidelines. These sites are doubly valuable as they rank well on both mobile and desktop because the design changes depending on the size of the screen being used.
Google recommends that the content for separate mobile and desktop sites be the same, including metadata.” ?For those businesses considering a site rebuild, it is imperative to both design for the mobile user experience first and ensure to lead with mobile SEO-best practice.
Fast-page loading speed is more important than ever and will become even more important from July …more on that soon.