Google Mobile First Index Ushers in the Age of Smartphone Supremacy
Are you ready for the major changes Google is bringing starting on July 1, 2019? Mobile-first indexing is going to become Google’s default for indexing and crawling websites on the World Wide Web. This change sees the mobile version of all new websites now being indexed and crawled by Google’s smartphone Googlebot by default.
Why is this change happening?
Well, it’s a bit of a no-brainer really – the majority of Google’s millions of daily users are now on mobiles or smartphones. For Google, a top priority has always been to provide its users with the best quality experience. So, with this latest update, they’ve established that improving mobile search results is a key factor in keeping their customer base happy and scrolling.
The search giant has been preparing for this rollout for a long time, and it is something that not only impacts the quality of mobile search results but also hits website rankings in general terms.
How will it affect website search rankings?
So this update is only going to affect websites without mobile versions, or those that don’t support responsive web design. If you are one of those people with a website that only has a desktop version, this update could mean losing the opportunity to be discovered by millions of potential users who favour mobile devices.
Google has come out and said that mobile-first indexing isn’t going to affect your search ranking – this is highly sceptical. The move to mobile is a fast approaching one, so you’d better board the train fast so you don’t get left behind in desktop city!
Is your website included in mobile-first indexing?
You can take the chance to check your website yourself to see if it is being properly crawled and indexed under mobile-first indexing by using the URL Inspection tool in Search Console. Google has also, very helpfully provided documentation to those who haven’t made the transition yet.
So, how can you improve rankings in Google’s mobile-first indexing?
If you’re worried about being left behind with the switch to mobile-first. There are ways to improve ranking in mobile searches.
- Start using Google Search Console – this is a big one, Google strongly recommends business owners verify the mobile version of their websites within Search Console. By monitoring and tracking your website performance on a regular basis you can get the latest updates or error notifications that can help you improve your overall search rankings.
- Use robots.txt testing tool – it is super important (even more so after 1 July) that a website is designed in such a way that it can be easily accessed by Google crawlers. You should verify that your website has already done this by using the robots.txt testing tool.
- Use structured data – using consistent structured data for both mobile and desktop website versions is important and beneficial.
- No need to modify canonical links – business owners should stick to Google’s advice, which is not to do any canonical link modification. Google is going to continue to use these links as a guide to delivering accurate results to its users.