Google has finally announced on March 26th 2018, that it began the process of rolling out the Mobile-First Indexing update to sites. This roll out is an attempt to make webmasters give higher importance to develop or upgrade to mobile friendly platforms. Mobile First Indexing makes other parameters to take a back seat, since indexing of websites is of utmost importance than anything to rank higher on Google. Although this announcement was due for a very long time, it looks like there is a lot of confusion among webmasters and digital marketing professionals as to what exactly this update means to them.
Does this update mean a lot of changes have to be made on the website or being mobile friendly is good enough?
In this particular article I shall describe what exactly mobile first indexing means and how to go about being conformed to this update. Furthermore, you will also read about how much of an SEO effort would be required to be in good books of Google.
So, what is Mobile First Indexing all about? Firstly, Yes! It’s what it sounds like. From Mobile First Indexing update, one can expect from Google to give higher priority to mobile versions of websites in indexing. From this update it’s clear that Google will maintain only one index for both mobile and desktop versions, however, higher priority shall be given to websites with mobile versions as well.
This however, doesn’t mean an only desktop website shall not be indexed. All it means is that mobile friendliness of a website that enhances a visitor’s experience would have higher chances to rank rankings both its on mobile and desktop versions.
As part of this update, Google has confirmed that it has plans to move a huge volume of websites into mobile-first indexing criteria. Owners of these websites are expected to hear about the same from Google via their Search Console.
How to brace up for this update?
Keep one thing in mind that there is absolutely nothing to panic about for this updated is in a very early state. As long as this update is rolled out for all current websites with feature to include new websites as well, no major impact is going to hit your website or the search engine world altogether. As per the Official news on this update (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/03/rolling-out-mobile-first-indexing.html, if your current website is mobile responsive you need not have to worry much, provided you are satisfied with the current rankings.
Since, responsive primarily means enhanced speed and less load time of pages, if these two factors are taking a hit on both of your website versions, you might have to fix them. Additionally, assure your visitors optimized content and images for enhanced mobile experience.
Earlier Google primarily crawled and indexed desktop versions of website to assess its page content. As a result of this, content delivered via mobile versions were hugely different causing conflicts with mobile searches i.e. mobile version content were ignored. With this update, mobile version of a desktop page will get higher precedence when it comes to indexing, and eventually ranking.