How Does Mobile-First Indexing Impact SEO in 2018?
Google, one of the most popular search engines continuously strive hard to make the web more mobile-friendly, and as part of this objective, the latest development in the field is evident in mobile-first indexing. Before discussing it further, let us know more about Mobile-first indexing.
What is Mobile-first Indexing?
Mobile first indexing is the latest development by Google. It means that the Search Engine will predominantly use the content’s mobile version for indexing and ranking. Earlier, the desktop version of the content of a page was used for indexing when evaluating a page’s relevancy as per a user’s query. With more and more people using their mobile phones for accessing Google, the index is primarily using the page content’s mobile version going forward. Thus, only one index is being used with Googlebot primarily crawling and indexing pages with the smartphone agent. Only that URL will be shown which is most relevant and appropriate to users in the Search results. The whole focus is to ensure an amazing experience for the users and site owners. Every site is individually evaluated on its readiness for mobile first indexing by site transitioning, and the best practices opted for in this regard.
How to Make Sure Your Site is Ready for Mobile First Indexing
It is imperative to check if your site is ready for mobile first indexing. With excessive mobile use for accessing Google, it is high time; site owners make it more mobile-friendly. Many factors need to be considered while ensuring the same. Some of the major factors are-
Use Responsive Design
The first and the foremost factor that needs to be looked into is having a responsive website design. If the site is responsive, it becomes more accessible for the target customers. The content must be just like water, able to take form and shape as per the receptacle in which it is placed. It is important to note that the content is same whether, on a desktop or a mobile phone, only its form is updated. Mobile users can easily access a responsively designed website using the Google search engine. They need not open their desktop to check out a website.
Optimize Your Content For Mobile
If a separate m. The subdomain is being used currently to manage the mobile experience; it may be possible that you are serving different content on mobile and desktop. If that is the case, the impact of mobile first indexing will be immense on your site. Understand that desktop content is responsible for current rankings. Thus, despite having a responsive website design, there may be a need for design tweaks here and there to ensure the optimal mobile experience for conversions. You can optimize content for mobile by using drop-down menus and accordion properly, avoiding flash, keeping a check on pop-ups, tap target, text size, and padding.
Create a Mobile-First Strategy
If you wish to act on a mobile-first strategy, it is imperative that you create and think mobile first strategy. Right from website designing, development and more to UX, mobile first must be considered. The mindset needs to be changed and focus on mobile first and then thinking about desktop later. Just having a responsive website is not enough, it should be properly optimized for mobile. Just leave the desktop behind and work with a focused approach on mobile first. Drive organizational change and embrace the mobile-first world. In the long run, this decision is going to be worth it.
Fast Load Speed
Fast load speed is also going to be one of the major factors that are going to be considered by Google for Mobile first indexing. Thus, is a site doesn’t get loaded at a fast speed, it stands the chance of getting down-ranked in SERP’s or Search Engine Results Pages. Site owners who thought that the loading speed is not going to be a deterrent when it comes to mobile first indexing need to rethink their position. Google is expected to launch a new way to calculate mobile page load speed which is going to become one of the major factors in indexing.
Serve the Same Structured Markup
Serving structured data markup for both desktop and mobile version is important. Sites can verify the structured markup across mobile and desktop versions and its equivalence. It is done by just typing the URLs of both versions for comparing the output in the structured data testing tool. When a mobile site is added with structured data, it is imperative to avoid the addition of large markup amounts that is very low on relevance to the precise information of each content in a document. Thus, it is better to serve the same structured markup in both versions.
Verify your Mobile Site in Search Console
When the site is being switched over to mobile first index, the notification is sent by Google through the Search Console. Before and after the switch is being done, many site owners may wish to check out the crawl activity of Google. Log file data needs to be monitored to see the way search engine bots access a website and check out the way they get there. In case, there is increased activity by smartphone agents, it will be immediately noticed, and site owners will be alerted. These changes in patterns may not be completely conclusive but surely gives a general idea.
Make sure that your host servers can handle the increased crawl rate.
Avoid Pop-Ups On Mobile
If Lead generations are one need for your website, we need to look into use of pop-ups. Need to consider how often these popups appear, the size of these popups should be responsive as per device and also need to give importance to the closing button. Usually, it’s very irritating for the mobile user, as the popup in few occasion doesn’t allow accessing the required content in the site.
In the current situation, we have Smartphones which are a lot smarter than the normal computers owned by users. These days smartphone has faster processors, extended memory, and are more capable to deal with complex user requirement.
GoogleBot has also evolved, So if GoogleBot can handle it, make sure you show them everything. This will help Google to categorize your content and rank it appropriately.
Checking the above factors and ensuring you are compliant with the same can help you rank higher in mobile first indexing. It is going to give a big boost to your site and help you achieve your SEO Marketing Goals easily and conveniently. This is one of the latest developments by Google, and shortly, it is going to get a lot of significance when it comes to indexing.