Does your website have different content and structure between its mobile and web versions? If yes, your SEO plan is likely to fetch you a ZERO. Wondering why? Here are a few things you need to know about Mobile-First Index to optimize your website.
What’s Mobile-First Index?
It’s no secret that Google crawls websites like a real desktop user and ranks the sites in search results, based on several parameters. And we have gotten accustomed to this ‘search algorithm’ while creating our SEO strategies. Google is now redrawing the rules of the game by bringing in Mobile-First Index, which crawls websites like a mobile user. The algorithm will rank and display the websites in the search results based on the mobile version, instead of desktop version. Wondering how this will work?
Has it hit us yet? Yes and No. Google has started rolling out this algorithm last year. But, it is not complete as several features of the Mobile-First Index are still being tested.
How does Mobile-First Index impact you?
If you don’t have a mobile site, you may not disappear from search results, but will have a lot of catch-up to do. Though it supports mobile site, the algorithm will still crawl and rank your website based on the desktop version. However, you are not being ‘up there’ if you do not have a mobile site.
The Solution? The answer is simple and straightforward – Responsive websites. If you don’t own one, then build one. As responsive website design contains the same HTML and URL, it makes it easier for the Googlebot to crawl, index and rank the content. Moreover, a site that seamlessly works regardless of the device and screen size can make a huge difference in the user experience without losing its content. If SEO is a key component of your digital marketing strategy, then your website better be responsive.
If your website has different content in its mobile and web versions, you lose big time – on UX, on ranking, on engaging your users. Your desktop user might not see what your mobile user see. In addition to that, some links that are visible on the desktop might not be visible to the mobile. This is because Googlebot doesn’t display the links which are not in the index. As a result, you’ll risk losing your search rank in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Further, if you’ve less content in your mobile site than the desktop version, you better be anxious. Google will look only for the mobile site.
Solution? You got it. Make sure your website and mobile site have the same content, look & feel, and experience.
Why Mobile-First Index?
The answer is simple. The world has gone mobile. Majority of the searching on Internet today happens through mobile devices than desktop devices.
And there is a great advantage too. With the desktop version, Google will not index the hidden content in accordions, tabs, and links. But when it comes to the mobile version, the hidden content will be considered as equal as the plain content.
According to web trends analyst Gary Illyes, hidden content will have full and same priority in the Mobile-First Index. This is because the expandable content makes more sense on mobile, considering the limited screen space and seamless user experience.
Now, whoever said ‘change is the only constant thing in this world’ – take a bow. Are you searching who said it?