Google’s Mobile First Index: What Does This Mean for Your SEO Strategy
Every year, Google comes up with new updates for content syndication, social media marketing, website security and much more. Why does it do so, is for the secure and safe web browsing and smooth transitions from the server to the browser.
Additionally, every year Google is also discussing mobile-first index and its importance in building the SEO strategy. There was a recent study conducted by Stone temple consulting which indicated that more than 56 percent of traffic is coming from the mobile device and it will certainly continue growing year by year.
Today, there are several users who are mobile friendly and use a mobile device for the majority of their activities. Moreover, when Google too have started spending more time in discussing the mobile first index in this online world, it has become more obvious for the designers to work hard on the mobile first index for all the websites. Before moving ahead it is important to let us understand what mobile first index is and how it is a game changer in the game of SEO and webmasters.
Is Mobile first index going to be another mobilegeddon?
What is the mobile first index?
Google works on indexing – which means that Google collects the information in huge numbers and volume from every web page in a massive chunk of the catalog – this is called as the index. This index is used to formulate and showcase the display search results for a variety of queries on the web. So what was happening until now was that Google used to view the web pages via the display of desktop user, where all the pages were important. This notion was followed when it was viewed on mobile as well. Until recently this was the system followed by Google but now with mobile first index, Google is now treating the mobile versions of each page as the first things to see in the index simultaneously with the desktop versions (that are being been secondary). Mobile first index was automatically rolled out on the major search engines but the entire process is actually very gradual and may take somewhere around 3 to 4 months to complete the entire rollout process.
Do keep in mind that the mobile-first index does not actually affect what we term as Google’s mobile-friendly approach, On the other hand, Google has started specifically changing the affect how the search engines look at mobile-friendly websites and do not affect directly the search rankings in any major way. Instead, the impact of mobile-first indexing will come into picture when your mobile and desktop sites are suggestively different. Mobile-first is also important because it restates Google’s commitment to its attracting mobile users.
This shift to mobile-first indexing actually means that Google’s algorithms will now primarily use the mobile version of your website with the content pages to rank them in the search engines. This search index will also cover the internal pages and the apps on the website.
So what will be the impact and how will it change the SEO strategy?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), was realised in 2016 and was an open source initiative that was designed to assist the publishers to create the lightweight web pages that would perform better on mobile devices. Today, AMP is available to all brands and content creators on the web. With this today anyone can enable content and can have its own presence organically in the mobile search results.
Mobile index will highlight the websites that are all set for it
With mobile-first index slowly things are rolling out and websites are getting prepared for the update. Here, the websites are majorly unaffected by this update will be the first to get the rollout before the websites make these crucial structural changes. Ideally, Google rolls out few algorithmic changes in transit that majorly affect the sites, in turn, giving out the rewards and the penalties on both hands. The shift from this approach is a good news for the websites that are not prepared for the mobile first index.
Another shift or change with Google’s Mobile First Index is that Google will not notify the mobile-first sites of their current status. This means if you have a website with mobile version then get ready for the change as Google has no hidden intention of indicating website as when and how their websites will start indexing.
Use of SSL certificate to encrypt all the communication on your mobile website
Move to SSL certificates for strongly protected information on your mobile website. Most SSL certificates do not support mobile websites thus make sure you choose the one that supports web responsive websites. There are several cheap SSL certificates available in the market that can support your mobile website, first check and then buy.
Insufficient mobile optimization can damage your desktop ranking
Content rules, here if your mobile version has low-quality content as compared to your desktop version then the Google searches will get hurt. With Mobile first index Google will look at the mobile version first it will index low-quality content only which will, in turn, affect rankings of both the versions of the website. Just make sure that the internal and external links and the content are same on both the versions of your website.
For better SEO strategy, optimizing your images for mobile will help
The one challenge which mobile websites face is optimising the images and preparing them for mobile first indexing. With the Alt text version, the images used on the mobile websites need to be optimised this way so that it comes from the Google search engines results.
Worrying about Google’s mobile-first index will not help, in fact, learn about it, try to implement it smoothly by making your mobile website ready for this transition. Moreover, there will be a minimal change in the rankings but considering the updates and the trend of the responsive website, it is better to have all the websites as mobile friendly. Make all your efforts to make your mobile website user-friendly and compatible with all the browsers. One of the most important parts of it is the use of SSL certificates that will build trust and give visibility to the web users.