SEO News Mobile First Indexing

Many months ago, “mobilegeddon” occurred wherein mobile-friendly websites would get a visibility boost in search engines over their desktop-only counterparts for searches that occurred on mobile.

Google is now experimenting with “mobile-first indexing” which takes this one step further. Experimenting is the keyword – this hasn’t gone live as standard practice yet.

This change means that no matter what device is used, Google will look at the mobile version of the website before looking at the desktop version for their indexing. This is a big change.

As we know, mobile design changes how things are displayed and what’s displayed. As an example, placement of on-site elements is an important factor in SEO i.e. above-the-fold or near above-the-fold content is perceived as more important than the below-the-fold content (as a generalisation). If – for example – on desktop, you have content that appears at the top of the page but on mobile it now appears at the bottom of the page, what will happen is that the ranking of element importance will be taken from the mobile version, not the desktop version. Further, if certain website elements disappear on mobile e.g. an HTML table, that content will not be considered when indexing and ranking the website.

Essentially, if you haven’t yet moved to a responsively designed website, you are behind and need to update your web presence as soon as possible.

Globally, mobile searches have overtaken those on desktop. Australia is sitting at 55.1% desktop; we’re expected to tip over to mobile-dominance soon.