What is Googles ‘Mobile-First’ Index?
Your rank in the search results is determined by how relevant and useful Google considers your site to be in response to a search query.
In order to rank a site, first Google reads the site for a variety of factors big and small. Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of your site. The ranking for your mobile site is based on the ranking of your desktop site. So, the ranking is determined desktop-first.
See where this is going? After the mobile-first update, Google will use the mobile version of a site to determine the ranking of both your mobile and desktop site.
What happens if your website isn’t mobile friendly or not configured properly for mobile? If you already spent a time optimizing your website for mobile, then you might be in pretty good shape. But don’t worry if you’ve neglected your mobile site. Your site can still be fixed and ready to go before the update arrives.
According to Smart Insights > read the full article here – There a few things you can do to be prepared.
Preparation For Google’s Mobile-First Indexing
If you have a responsive site where the primary content and markup is same across mobile and desktop, you don’t need to change anything.
If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you must make a few changes to your site. Some of them are discussed below:
- Be sure to serve structured markup for both the versions. Websites can verify the equivalence of their structured markup across both devices by typing the URLs of desktop and mobile version into the Structured Data Testing Tool and comparing the result.
- While adding structured data to a mobile website, it is advisable to avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document.
- You need to use the robots.txt testing tool to determine that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
- Websites don’t have to make changes to their canonical links. These links will be used to serve the right results to a user searching on any device.
- If you are a website owner who has only verified your desktop website in Search Console, it is imperative to add and verify your mobile version.
According to recent Search Engine Land article (here),
Google is “probably many quarters away” from launching its mobile-first index. Said trends analyst, Gary Illyes during a crowded session Tuesday afternoon at an SMX Advanced conference in Seattle.
“We don’t have a timeline for the launch yet,” Illyes said. “We have some ideas for when this will launch, but it’s probably many quarters away. Our engineers’ timeline was initially end of 2017. Right now, we think more 2018. ”