For about a year or so, Google has been talking about the inevitable conversion to mobile first index. Per a study, which was released by Stone Temple Consulting this year- more than 55% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices and it will continue to grow.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean that it’s all over for desktop and/or personal computer traffic. Personal computer internet traffic is at about 44 percent, which is still very good.
However, this has presented Google search engine with a question, which is:
If more users are utilizing and migrating towards mobile devices more and more, what should Google prioritize? Mobile experience or desktop?
The answer is that Google should be looking more at mobile device traffic. For this reason, Google is testing out this new movement and will be implementing mobile first index in the very near future. Which presents a question to the public:
Is Your Website Prepared for the Transition of Mobile First Index and If It Isn’t Should You Get Ready?
Before we can answer this question in a concise fashion – let’s go into some details on how your website is now being indexed by Google as well as, what changes are involved and your timeline at this moment.
For starters, Google has indexed different websites only based on desktop and personal computer experiences and on the content it currently contains.
What Will Be Changing With Google’s Mobile First Index?
In simple terms – once the Google Mobile First Index goes into effect, Google will rank your website based on content on mobile experiences instead of desktop experience as it has been doing for as long as we can remember…
When both website versions – mobile and desktop websites contain the exact content, you won’t notice a negative impact on your website once the transition to Google’s mobile first index occurs. Google will simply be seeing the same thing since your website was developed with a responsive mobile design.
However, if your desktop version is different from your mobile version it can cause a negative impact to your website, as Google will be utilizing the mobile experience for ranking and indexing purposes.
When Will Google’s Mobile First Index Switch Take Place?
This is somewhat of a loaded question, as there is an answer to it. However, chances are that you won’t like it too much…
During a conference at the SMX West – Gary Liiyes of Google commented: “that they will launch the mobile first index when results are quality neutral.” Gary Liiyes of Google also said: “Getting to quality neutral is not easy and it is tricky.”
Liiyes then said that the change should take place in June.
Moreover, in a recent Search Engine Nerds Podcast – Gary Liiyes of Google was interviewed and he said that they were looking to launch mobile first index early this year.
John Mueller has commented that Google might just begin by implementing mobile first index in batches rather than doing it all at one time.
There’s NO Reason to Fret or Worry Yourself Sick!
For individuals who may be reading this article don’t think that Google is just being difficult, as this change is actually a really good thing. Google is taking the right amount of time to make sure that they don’t wreck the internet during the transition to the mobile first index method. If complications were to occur due to a swift transition then there would be cause for worry.
Google doesn’t want people to worry about the switch, as they plan to roll out this new method without causing any harm to mobile-friendly websites.
Although, this is a generous gesture from Google. We imagine that people and/or businesses with websites that are not mobile friendly might experience some negative impact. With that said, if you don’t have a mobile friendly website – feel free to worry just a little, as this can easily be resolved.
Analyze your mobile users
Check out Google analytics and analyze how many users on your website browse through desktop or mobile. Go to Audience ->Mobile -> Overview
You can determine how many users are browsing your website on a mobile.
A Few Tips to Help You Prepare for Mobile First Index:
1. Read Google’s Webmaster Blog
Needless to say – there’s no such thing as too much information. We strongly advise you to read Google’s Webmaster blog post, which offers some clear information about mobile first index. Google has been transparent about the latest change and you can acquire important information, which will help you determine how much work you really need to do to your existing website.
For instance, one important point is that if you have a responsive website in which the main markup and content is the same across desktop and mobile user experience, then you shouldn’t have to make any changes.
Secondly, if your website’s configuration in which the main content differs between mobile and desktop, then you should seriously consider implementing some changes to your website.
2. Get a Responsive Design
Not only will a responsive web design bring additional investment – it is also, time to upgrade your website with a responsive design. When you only have one URL, which adjusts to all types of devices, you’ll notice that it is better for search engines, users and for those people who maintain your website.
Having a separate mobile website is standard and acceptable, but it is a trend that is outdated. You never know when Google is going to demand for websites to go responsive. It is best to upgrade.
3. If Your Website Isn’t Responsive Then Be Certain That Your Main Content is on Your Mobile Website
As mentioned earlier – once Google transitions to mobile first index, Google will be analyzing your mobile website as the main source of content on different websites.
When you acquire a responsive website, you’ll have to be sure that your content appears on your mobile website. If you don’t do this, you’ll be in risk of a negative impact to your current website. Despite Google’s comments mentioned above – they are already setting certain guidelines for the transition, which is important to abide by.
We sure hope that the information and tips on Google’s mobile-first index on this article is helpful to you. We strongly recommend that you switch to a responsive design for the continued success of your website.
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