Google’s “Mobile-First” index is bound to become one of the most widely discussed components of SEO in the months to come. The new index rolled out in December of last year and is gradually gaining speed. Since this method will alter how all sites are ranked in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), it’s critical for all companies to understand how their website optimization will need to evolve to accommodate mobile-first.
Introducing Mobile-First Index
The Internet is a complex and often wacky place. Google stays up to date with your company’s website by using a “bot” to fish around like a visitor, follow links on your page, and add new pages to its index. Until now, the Google bot functioned just like a standard desktop user, so indexing came from the perspective of desktop functionality. Now, however, the mobile-first index is changing all of that by morphing the bot into a mobile user. This is an enormous distinction!
More and more websites are optimizing their websites for mobile users, but it’s still common to offer completely different displays to mobile users compared to desktop users. For example, a desktop version of a website could have certain important links that the mobile version is missing. A year ago this would not have hurt your company’s rankings in SERPs, but now it will. Furthermore, the mobile-first index will place far more emphasis on whether your website is mobile friendly with fast load times and succinctly organized menu guides.
Why Make the Switch?
On Google’s end, the switch to mobile-first makes sense, because mobile users are rapidly becoming more common than desktop users. This makes rankings based on mobile components more relevant to the majority of Internet users.
As for your business, you need a mobile site. It’s really that simple. Though a desktop bot will crawl your website if you don’t have any responsible mobile site in place, the lack of mobile optimization will hurt your business in other ways, such as lost trust among consumers and missed opportunities for further web-based connections. Building a mobile platform for your business is an investment in the future.