Google Mobile-First Indexing Enabled – What Is It And How It Influences SEO Related Performance

If you were the owner or the webmaster of a particular website, you probably got the following type of messages from Google Search Console:

Google Search Console Mobile Index First Notifications

Have you got them? Were you curious enough to find out what “Mobile-first indexing” means and how it influences your SEO related performance?

What Is “Mobile-first Indexing”?

Mobile-first indexing is not a new feature from Google and it was first notified to its webmasters by Google Search Console 6 months ago. At that moment that was only a trial feature and the smart guys from Google were only testing its functionality. Now it is live and it influences the behavior of Google Bots while crawling your website, thus it influences the way your website ranks for different keywords.

Mobile-first indexing means, as the guys from MOZ have defined it on their blog, that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings.

The basic fact is that Google doesn’t consider your desktop version as a reference while crawling and indexing, but the mobile version. In the same time, mobile-first indexing doesn’t exclude the indexing of the desktop version of the website, so…don’t panic! IT IS NOT A NEW MOBILEGEDDON!!!

How Does “Mobile-first Indexing” Influences SEO and Ranking?

This is a tricky question, as “Mobile-first Indexing” is just rolling out on a large scale, but we can definitely presume the following:

  • if you already have a mobile friendly version of your website, this is good; it means the mobile-first indexing shouldn’t jeopardize your rankings
  • if you don’t have a friendly mobile version of your website, this is something for you to fix right up. Mobile-first indexing will definitely impact your SERPs (if it hasn’t done it already) as the Google bots will try and crawl the mobile version of your website, which doesn’t exist. Of course, they will crawl the desktop version, but also they will signal that your website is nor mobile friendly. This means your content doesn’t display right or your pictures might be too small or too large to display and this will definitely influence SEO and SERPs.

The new WordPress themes, if considering the most used CMS out there, are mobile responsive and this is a criteria to be taken into account by any web designer. From this perspective, more or less, the large majority of all the websites are mobile responsive, if created later than HTML 4, for example.

In the same time, for getting good SERPs it is not enough for your website to display correctly on mobile devices or to be responsive,  but also to be SEO optimized for mobile as well.

This is why “mobile-first indexing” won’t do much harm to the websites, but it will definitely impact on their rankings.

What Should We Do SEO-wise?

While the “mobile-first indexing” rolls out on the internet, you should check the following:

  • the notifications from Google Search Console; of course, if you implemented one for your website, but we do advise all of you to implement it. This notification clearly shows you if your websites are being subjects to mobile-first index roll out or not;
  • the responsiveness of your website for mobile devices; if your websites behave responsively for mobile devices, than you’re all good to go with the mobile-first indexing. Make sure, though, that “responsiveness” doesn’t mean only to display your website on mobile devices, but to correctly display all the information and data, might it be texts or images;
  • the UX/UI of your website; do you have a UX/UI specialist hired for making the interactions with your website on mobile devices the best? If not, please do take into consideration asking for a UX/UI webdesign service from a trustworthy provider.
  • the SERPs at the moment; you will want to know how this “mobile-index first” roll out have influenced your rankings; from this perspective, you’ll need to check out the actual positions and compare them with the future ones. Thus you’ll know what pages you have to improve and what pages you still have to optimize.

Our Experience With SEO Optimization For Mobile Devices

If you want to work with an awarded agency, please check our experience in SEO optimizing different websites for desktop and mobile devices. 

Also, you can check some portfolio examples with projects where we applied SEO optimization techniques.

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