When Google first announced that the Google search index would indeed be mobile-first, it was significant news.
The world is going mobile, and Google has started crawling the mobile version of your website’s content in order to learn how it should be indexed in search.
Google’s official announcement on mobile first indexing states that,
“Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.”
When this much anticipated mobile-friendly update took effect on, it was apparent that Google was placing increased importance on the ever-growing number of mobile users. Since then, mobile has continued to grow in both usage and search, and Google recognizes its increasing importance.
Until this point, Google had been crawling websites from a desktop point of view, but now they have changed to a mobile browser viewpoint. Your mobile site has become the primary factor for rankings, coming in over the desktop version of the site.
If you still don’t have a mobile site, you are unfortunately way behind in the online game. At Eastmoor Digital, we can help you get where you need to be by designing a website that is user-friendly and mobil for your business.
If you have a dynamic serving site or a responsive site where the main content and structured markup is the same across devices, then the changes and updates made by Google probably didn’t affect anything for your business.
However, if your website is not the same across mobile and desktop, you may want to make some modifications. The first step you should take is ensuring that you’re serving structured markup to both the desktop and mobile versions of your site.
You need to make sure that the content and links on the mobile site are as close to or identical to the desktop version so that Google will be able to crawl the proper content and rank your site at the same position as when you’re seen on a desktop.
In order to provide an optimum user experience, you may have needed to remove certain content from the mobile version of your website. This could potentially affect how Google will crawl and rank your site.
The good news is that mobile content that is hidden or trapped behind a “Learn More” or “Read More” tab will not harm your rankings.
In short, this means that whatever content you have hidden in tabs or accordions will receive full weight from Google when it comes to mobile crawling.
Remember, that your content should be easily consumable on mobile and have the ability to leave the important messages on the page while at the same time hiding any supporting material will improve the user experience on your site.
Always keep in mind that the content on your mobile site is more valuable than ever. It’s a fine balance between appeasing Google with definitive content which Google finds relevant and making sure you’re staying interesting to your visitors.
While you may have been inclined to cut structured data in an attempt to make your page lighter, it’s important to make sure that the data appears on your mobile pages.
Google suggests using the Structured Data Testing Tool to check structured markup between desktop and mobile. When you add structured data to a mobile site, avoid large numbers of markup that are relevant specifically to the content of each document.
You will need to verify that your site is accessible to the Googlebot by using the robots.txt testing tool. If you haven’t yet verified your mobile site within the Search Console, that should be completed as soon as possible. In the Google Search Console, you can also utilize the Fetch & Render tool and specify the mobile: smartphone user-agent to guarantee that the fetch and render is complete. You’ll then be able to see what Google sees from your mobile site, informing you if there is anything that requires fixing.
It’s clear that Google has put an emphasis on mobile and the mobile experience in general. As we get closer to the future of voice search and mobile dominance, Google is preparing themselves to make sure that their users have the most positive experience possible while finding answers to their questions.
If you only have a desktop website, Google will continue to index your desktop website. This is true even if Google is using a mobile user-agent to view the site. Although, as stated before, if you don’t have a mobile site it should really be a top priority.
If you are in the process of launching a mobile version of your website, make sure that you do not launch it until it is absolutely 100% ready to go. If it’s incomplete in any way, the desktop version will hold more weight anyway.
The most important thing that you can take away from this article is that there is an ongoing progression towards a mobile world and the quicker your business gets on board, the better it will be. This is simply too critical to skip over in today’s modern world. If you need any assistance creating or updating your website’s mobile version, our team at Eastmoor Digital is here to help!