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Eight things you need to know about Google’s ‘mobile first’ indexing

Some days ago, Google announced that search search
engines will be ‘mobile first’ in the near future. Google’s search
results will be based on the mobile versions of web pages, including
the results that are shown to desktop users.

8 things you need to know about mobile first

Here are eight things you need to know
about Google’s ‘mobile first’ indexing:

Why does Google switch to ‘mobile first’?

The majority of searches on Google are
done on mobile devices. Google wants to deliver relevant results to the
majority of searchers.

Until now, Google has indexed web
pages as desktop browsers see them. With the new ‘mobile first’
approach, Google indexes web pages as mobile phones see them. The
rankings will be calculated based on the mobile websites.

What do you have to do if you do not have a mobile website?

Google says that you do not have to
worry about this: “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to
index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user
agent to view your site.”

Of course, web pages that have been
optimized for mobile devices get better rankings on Google Mobile than
web pages that have not been optimized. For that reason, you should
start working on a mobile version of your website now if you do not
have one.

What do you have to do if you have a mobile website?

You have to make sure that your mobile
pages contain enough content to rank your pages. If your mobile pages
have less content than your desktop pages, your pages might get lower
rankings with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ index.

What is the best solution to make sure that Google can see the content
of my pages?

Google recommends responsive web
design. The content on responsive websites is the same on desktop
computers and mobile devices. The layout changes based on the device
that is used to view the content but the content is the same.

Of course, you can also create a
separate website just for mobile. In general, a separate mobile site is
more work and more errors can happen.

What about content that is hidden in navigational elements?

On desktop pages, content that is
hidden in tabs or expandable boxes has less weight than content that is
directly visible. As expandable content makes sense on mobile, that
content will be given full weight (provided it has been hidden in
navigational elements to enhance the user experience).

Will my rankings change a lot?

Google says that there should be
minimal ranking changes around this change. Of course, most websites
already have good mobile sites or responsive sites.

If you do not have a mobile website
yet, your rankings might change more than the rankings of a website
that already is mobile.

Pages that are not mobile-friendly
will not rank as well as pages that have been optimized for mobile

Will Google have different indexes for mobile search and desktop

Google plans to have one index which
is based
on mobile content. During the testing period, there will be a
desktop-first index and a mobile-first index. We won’t be able to find
out which index Google will show us during that testing period.

What happens to the links that point to my website?

If you have a responsive website, you
do not have to worry about this because the URLs of your mobile pages
and your desktop pages are the same (actually, the pages are the same,
they are only displayed differently on mobile and desktop).

If you have a separate mobile website,
chances are that the mobile pages do not have as many links as the
desktop versions of your pages. As Google’s search results are very
dependent on links, the mobile pages with fewer links might get lower

Google hasn’t found a final solution
to this problem yet. Google also said that the canonical attributes on
your web pages do not have to be changed.

Although Google said they have already
begun testing this mobile-first index to
some users, it will still take some time until it goes live for all

The Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler
helps you to optimize
your web pages for high rankings on Google Mobile. The Ranking Monitor
in SEOprofiler can check the rankings of your web pages in Google’s
mobile search results. If you haven’t done
it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

SEOprofiler now

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