A panic has swept SEO‘s and web developers alike, ever since Google has announced the mobile first index. In fact, much of this panic is down to not knowing exactly what will be changing, and how. After all, we all fear the unknown. So what will happen to responsive sites? And what will happen to sites without a mobile approach at all? Don’t worry. Here at Pumpkin Web Design in Preston, we are web marketing experts, and we are always on top of the latest developments. As a result, we have produced this guide to preparing for mobile first.
What is mobile first indexing?
At the moment, Google has only one index. This is based on the desktop site. However, mobile searches are growing and growing, with around a third of people using ONLY mobile devices to search. Clearly using the desktop site index is not the most effective way to display visually appealing and relevant information to mobile searchers. So Google is developing a new method to make the user experience better for mobile searchers.
How does indexing currently work?
At the moment, Google crawls a website, and then crawls it again looking for mobile friendly and responsive signals. This creates a desktop index. This is what is used to find relevant results from a search query. If you are on a mobile, Google then goes back and adjusts the ranking of the websites, putting the mobile friendly results at the top.
So, why is this not the most effective method?
Well, put simply, users are being shown stripped down versions of the website when they click to view a mobile friendly version. This removes much of the information that made the result rank so highly for relevance and quality in the first place. As a result, the user has to go back to the SERP, and choose a different option. Google has analysed these searches and the bounce rates, and it would appear that users searching on mobile devices are not being as successful as desktop users when it comes to finding the right information.
So what will change?
⦁ Mobile friendly sites will be adjusted according to their relevance, once stripped to their mobile version. This is because they dont seem to be offering as much value as their desktop site.
⦁ Responsive websites will remain mostly unchanged.This is because the same content is indexed for the desktop version and the mobile version, so you can expect the same level of relevance and quality. Here at Pumpkin Web Design, responsive websites are the type of content that we produce for all of our clients.
⦁ Websites with no mobile provision will still be seen and ranked by the mobile first. However, they wont rank as highly as websites with a responsive design. This is because the content wont be easily readable or usable which will likely leave the user frustrated.
So what should you do stay ahead?
The answer is simple. If you want your website to rank well on mobile devices, where a third of the users are, and still rank well on desktop, then you need a responsive website. Here at Pumpkin Web Design, we can build you one of those. Contact us today to find out more.