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Mobile first indexing guide update and web design

Google’s mobile first update was rolled out way back in 2018. But just this week, Google have announced changes to the mobile first indexing developers guide, which highlights some key design and technical steps that web developers should be taking, to secure the strongest ranking position and subsequent portion of the organic search traffic. So what are the links between this mobile first indexing guide update and web design? And how can you be sure that your website will perform well, across devices? Well, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester, we are Manchester’s leading web design professionals. We work with a variety of companies across Manchester, and the North West, including those in Blackburn and Chorley, to provide high quality web design solutions. And this is our guide to everything you should know about this mobile first indexing update, and how this effects web design practices.

What are the links between the mobile first indexing guide update and web design?

The updates made to the mobile first indexing developers guide refer to a number of technical issues, including:

  • URL addresses need to be the same for both desktop and mobile sites
  • The same meta robots tags need to be used on the mobile and desktop versions of any website site. This is even more important with regards to the noindex and nofollow attributes.
  • Keeping the structured data the same

But there are other notes that are particularly relevant to web design, or that will impact web design as a secondary issue. These include:

  • Keeping all of the content the same across both site versions
  • Keeping URL addresses for images and video content the same across both mobile and desktop sites

Hosting the same content on both site versions

If your mobile website is a little light on content, you could soon notice a decrease in organic traffic from mobile users. This is because the Google ranking algorithm is aiming to improve the browsing experience for mobile users, by showing them the best possible sites first. If your mobile website doesn’t provide enough interesting, helpful, relevant and original content, it could be seen as a less valuable website. This will result in a lower ranking position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Using the same URL addresses for image and video content across both site versions

This is an important change as it means that if you have specifically rendered and edited images and video content to fit into your mobile web design layout and plan, and uploaded these with different addresses, you could see a temporary image traffic loss during the transition to mobile-first indexing. This is because the mobile site images will not have the history, and therefore the authority, that your main desktop images have. And as a result, image search results related to your products or services could suffer, leading to a loss in organic traffic.

Responsive web design

Using responsive web design can help to prevent any of these potential issues from occurring, as the content can be selected to stay the same across both sites, and this will automatically scale images and video content, so you dont need separate URLs.

For more information or advice, or for high quality, professional web design solutions, get in touch with the experts today, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester.