07/02/2019

Mobile-first indexing:
is your website eligible?

Mobile-first indexing – A term which is fast becoming more prominent in today’s world of digital marketing and can no longer be ignored. The odds that you have at some stage over the last few years received a notification explaining that mobile-first indexing has been switched on for your website, is probably quite high. And, to not know how to use this resource in favour of your organisation’s betterment should no longer be a viable excuse.

How do you make sure your website is mobile friendly? Better yet, how do you make sure your website has an appropriate mobile-first indexing?

Stay close… we may have the answer you have been searching for

What is mobile-first indexing

Disclaimer: “Google” is often personified within this blog post. Consider it your big brother / sister looking out for the little guy 

Increasingly more people are gaining access to smartphones around the world. As a result, this has reflected on the usage of immediate access to information via the internet. In societies which have adopted a culture of western technologies, this means more traffic through Google as the dominant search engine. Cultures which have adopted more of an eastern perspective on technology tend to use search engines like Yahoo and Bing (to name only two).

Only a few years ago, one’s position in [mobile] search results would have been influenced by the result of the website’s version on desktop. This was often perceived to be a big digital marketing barrier as website versions on mobile had the potential to look different to website versions on desktop.

Offering the world a solution, Google decided to present us with mobile-first indexing. Now mobile versions of websites were used for indexing and ranking in search engines, enabling mobile users higher chances of finding exactly what they were looking for.

How was this done? Well, Google looked at the relationship between your mobile and desktop version of your site. If there was a strong correlation between the two, these chances increased your website’s presence through mobile-first indexing.

How does Google judge the mobile display of your website in the search results?

The term “mobile-first” does not necessarily mean that site indexing is exclusive to smartphones. If your website does not have a mobile version, then its desktop version would still be indexed through the search engine. However, should this be the case it often generates a negative user experience, affecting your website’s ranking and therefore indexing as well.

Mobile-first indexing changes the standard behaviour of Google for each search assignment in that the mobile versions always get indexed as soon as they are available. When there is no designated mobile version, Google then opts back to indexing the desktop version of the site and allows the standard ranking to take place.

Should I pay special attention to something?

It’s very simple maths - for a good ranking of your website in mobile search results, it is crucial to have a good and functioning mobile website. You can test this by pursuing a “Mobile-friendly Test” provided by Google. Next to that you can also obtain the feedback by using Google Search Console and find out if you are eligible for mobile indexing.

If your website has a responsive design and comparable content on both the mobile and desktop version, we can say that mobile-first indexing has very little influence on your ranking. You might experience more frequent crawls (visits) by Google bots (which is not a bad thing!)

Websites which have different website URLs  (addresses) for mobile and desktop pages, increase their chance of not being accurately found in the search engine since they are seen as two different websites by bots. This automatically means they are prone to more mistakes. But hey, don’t worry – Google does communicate with you when there are some oddities. This communication happens through Search Console, so make sure to stay logged in.

We would like to help you!

The switch from desktop to mobile is big and evident in almost every industry, and nobody is spared. A good functioning website is therefore the peak of online importance and performance. It is crucial to take your time and evaluate your website.

Should you want to find out a bit more about your current score - we would like the opportunity to advise you and put together a plan in your next step online!

Questions about mobile-first indexing?

Get in touch