Mobile-first indexing is a hot buzz word that we have heard frequently. Google announced to make it live soon and that has been rolled out now. This will make the internet more mobile friendly in coming years.
But there is a lot of confusion among the general business owners that what does this mean? And how their business is going to be affected with this change? Do you need to change anything or everything?
For all this, we need to understand all about Desktop-first Indexing and mobile-first indexing.
Desktop Indexing – Till Now
Google considered desktop website as a primary version and mobile website as an alternate version for indexing. This was the reason behind allocating alternate tag in desktop version and canonical tag to its mobile version indicating Google to index desktop as main and mobile site was visible to mobile users only but now the edge is shifted to mobile.
The glorious past of desktop version made the SEO, desktop centric by focusing content, schema, hreflang, backlinks everything to desktop page links only and mobile version was untouched or you can say that there was no significant impact of mobile parameters on indexing and ranking.
But now the situation has been changed and Mobile-first Indexing Era has begun.
Mobile-first Indexing – Now Onwards…
Mobile-first Indexing word itself suggests that the Google algorithm helps mobile friendly content to be well indexed. This doesn’t mean that if your site has only desktop version, will not be indexed. Desktop websites also will be indexed but may not get the ranking boost as the website doesn’t have the mobile compatible content. Thus if your website is responsive or having mobile version, than there are chances of good visibility than your competitors who don’t have mobile friendly websites. So, only desktop version of site may have ranking drop unless your site carries most valuable information that Google can’t ignore.
What Should a Business do for Mobile-first Indexing?
A) If the business site has gained as a single desktop version only till now, then there is a wakeup call to convert your website immediately to responsive. Though Google told not to be panic, but the situation is alarming to take right decision on right time to be shifted on responsive platform with the help of professional Google Mobile site developers, before it ruins your complete listing.
B) If you have responsive web design means the same website caters your both desktop and mobile users, then there will be no impact as your website is full proof without any significant impact of mobile-first indexing.
C) But if your site carries two different versions for desktop and mobile users, then you need to check all the parameters including meta-tags, h1 tagging, body content of mobile versions very well, as now Google is going to evaluate your mobile version for indexing and ranking in search results.
Check-list for Separate Websites for Desktop & Mobile
If your business has separate websites for desktop and mobile users, then it needs to ensure the below factors are to be well checked to expose them to mobile-first indexing.
Make sure that mobile site carries high quality content including text, images and video as equal to your desktop website and ensure that the mobile version is crawlable and indexable.
Keep the equivalent meta-tags in mobile site, which you have kept in Desktop version.
Google Search Console Verification for Mobile Site
Verify your mobile version on Google webmaster along with XML and media sitemap submission for mobile site.
International website for different countries, set hreflang tag pointing to mobile version of your country/language variants and desktop hreflang should point to the desktop variants only.
Know What People Are Saying about Mobile-first Indexing?
So, it’s time to check your site for Mobile friendly Version and if it is desktop version only, then upgrade to responsive website for better visibility and indexing in search engines.