Google Mobile First Search is Coming
Mobile has officially overtaken desktop as the primary means of using the Internet.
Questioning this yet? Look no further than Google’s latest change in their algorithm. The internet search giant recently announced that they would release a mobile search index separate from their existing desktop index. This is the way Google scans sites and ultimately determines where sites come up in search rankings. This change alone is already a major change, but the clincher is the fact that this new mobile index will be the primary method of determining search ranking.
Considering how fast people are adopting smartphones and tablets, it’s a wise move that flows with the logical progression of the web. Desktop searches, once Google’s lifeline, have been overtaken and account for less than 45% of all searches done on the web for some time now. As it turns out, more often people do use mobile devices to look stuff up.
But now that this decision by Google to index sites via mobile first is here waiting to be rolled out, there are more questions than answers.
- How exactly will the mobile index work?
- How will this affect websites that put less content on their mobile site than their desktop site?
- How often will the desktop index be maintained?
The answers to these questions will be much clearer in the coming months, but it’s safe to say that the following insights can help your business plan ahead now:
Make your site mobile-friendly
You’d think most sites already have this, but a surprising number still don’t. If you’re one of those businesses who’ve been putting off a mobile version, you now don’t have much choice left but to adapt.
Otherwise, your site will rank poorly on search engine result pages, and that’s something you don’t want to happen. Google takes into account in search rankings whether your site is mobile friendly or not.
Fill your mobile site with relevant content
Due to the compact sizes of handheld devices, many mobile sites carry far less content than their desktop counterparts. This can make it for easier viewing on smaller screens. But with Google’s new algorithm, mobile sites will also have to be optimized, more so than desktop sites, and need to carry the full website content.
No longer can there be a simpler mobile version with less content. If this is the case, that site will hurt in searches. The key would be to have a responsive website, one that “responds” to the device (mobile, tablet, desktop) that the user is on, and that at any device size it has the full website content.
Design a mobile strategy
Mobile used to be an alternative, an option. But things have changed. It’s now the default, relegating desktop queries to minority status.This means you need a mobile strategy more than ever. If you’re still attached to the desktop, you have to change your mindset and make mobile your primary concern.
Font size, page load speed, scroll depth, and responsiveness are just some of the design elements you must consider for your mobile site. As well, lead capture is important to consider. You need to have a great mobile user experience that helps you capture leads. That’s a great strategy piece to have in place.
The world is going mobile, and so should your site. Google is already at the helm, so act now if you don’t want to be left behind.