For some time we heard it was coming and now it’s finally here—mobile-first indexing. But what exactly is mobile-first indexing and how will it affect the ranking of your website in the Google search engine?
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing simply means that Google will now use the mobile version of your website as the primary determining factor for where your site will rank in search results. In the past, websites were ranked in the Google index mainly based on the relevance of their desktop site when compared to the search terms people used. The change to a mobile-first index comes in light of the fact that the majority of Google searches are done using a mobile device. According to Google, the transition to the mobile-first index will be a slow one to allow for a good experience for site owners and users. Google will evaluate each site individually to assess its readiness for mobile-first indexing and make the transition once the site is ready.
What does mobile-first indexing mean for your website?
If your website was created using responsive web design you should not have a problem as this means your website is already mobile-friendly. With responsive web design, your server will send the same HTML codes to all devices that access your site. CSS will also be used to provide browsers with instructions on how to adjust the dimensions and display of your page based on the device being used to access it. That means mobile users will not need double-tap or pinch-to-zoom in order to view your site properly. Therefore, mobile users will benefit from having access to the same information that would be made available on your desktop site but presented in a way that is easy to view from their phones and tablets.
Note, however, that even with a completely responsive website, you should ensure that your pages do not contain any large and slow-loading files or and that all elements are optimized correctly to ensure the best possible mobile experience.