What Should You Know About Google’s Mobile-First Index?

2016-12-23 09:42 Posted by: Judy in , Go to Comment

As with the development of mobile device, a growing number of people are searching on the internet using mobile devices such as smartphones. Google, as early as in 2015, has announced that mobile devices are now the main source of its search traffic at a digital advertising conference. However, the ranking system of Google still typically evaluates relevance of a page’s content to the user based on only the desktop version, causing issues when the desktop page has more content than the mobile page as a result of Google’s algorithms failing to evaluate the actual page grounded on what a mobile searcher sees.

To bring with a more compelling and useful results, Google has begun experimenting with a new mobile-first index. Technically, a search engine index represents a collection of pages or documents discovered by the search engine, primarily through crawling web via links. Google used to crawl the web from a desktop browser, but now the primary search engine index will gradually change to the mobile version of the web instead.

Google’s shift to mobile searches is regarded as a significant milestone for the company and has profound implications for the future business of all internet players. The company will keep experimenting with this new program on a small scale carefully in the next few months; once it is confident to gain greater user experience, it will immediately ramp up the change. It is believed that more and more search engines will make the same change about their index results in the near future, here are some recommendations to help you webmasters prepare as search engines move towards a more mobile-focused index.

1.     Responsive sites and dynamic serving sites need no change as the primary content and markup in which is equivalent across desktop and mobile.

2.     A site configuration along with the primary content and markup unequivalent across desktop and mobile needs changes like:

·        Serving structured markup for both the mobile and desktop version;

·        Verifying the accessibility of your mobile version to Googlebot using the robots.txt testing tool.

3.     Add and verify your mobile version in Search Console if you’re a site owner who has only verified the desktop site.

4.     Google will keep indexing your desktop site just fine if you have only rolled out the desktop version, even if the search engine views your site using a mobile user agent.

Optimize Your Site for Google's Mobile-First Index

As is the natural with all webmasters and visitors, Google has come to expect faster loading times. It is essential for every user to ensure fast website speed so as to rank high on mobile. When optimizing your page load, you should consider optimizing images to be the correct size, removing all unnecessary characters from source code, leveraging browser caching, and reducing redirects.

Meanwhile there is no need to worry about CSS, JavaScript, or images causing issues and making the site drag, because smartphones are more powerful than your computers in many cases. The smartphones GoogleBot handles these elements and expects to see and categorize the same content that users do. Therefore, ensuring to not block JavaScript, CSS or images is another way of optimizing your site for Google’s mobile-first index.

Today’s SEO not just refers to code and ranking signals, but also requires responsive web design. To optimize mobile site design for search, you should avoid using Flash and pop-ups on mobile, in addition to making sure finger-friendly design.

As well, keeping your tiles and description concise and to the point can not only allow your users or visitors to better understand who you are but also helps the GoogleBot understand your page faster, leading to higher CTR and improved rankings. 

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Judy
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Having been an website editor for web hosting, SSL, SEO, cloud and domain registration for years. Well knowledgeable about online presence creation, optimization and security.

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