Mobile webs will become a priority in Google indexing
Written by: Jerom
Sites that are optimised for mobiles will be given priority in Google's indexing.
It's official; the search engine has taken the next step towards mobile webs. Google announced that it would prioritise sites with mobile versions through index positioning in their search results.
They plan to switch to mobile first index
This news is very important and begins a new chapter for the search engine as they include the first mobile index without placing importance on where the search comes from.
The first signs of this change were seen in April of 2015 when Google considered as part of their search result classification whether a website was optimised for mobiles or not.
The change of classification makes perfect sense: mobile searches continue to grow and are now more popular than desktop searches (over 50% of the searches). This trend will continue to grow in the future. (We talked about this topic in this post.)
The algorithm explores the version of the desktop content and uses it to evaluate the relevance for the user. When the search engine evaluates the mobile web, it might cause problems if the mobile page has less content than the desktop version.
If you don't have a mobile-friendly site, you'll lose visibility.
Google's decision also means that mobile webs will also be shown in desktop searches.
Testing phase for the new indexing
Certain parts of this new step are still in the testing phase, being developed on a small scale to be launched globally.
Google plans to accelerate the testing phase only when they feel they are offering a great search experience to all their users.
So, if you've been putting off converting your website into a mobile-friendly version, now is definitely the time to do it.
Although they haven't announced an exact launch date, you've probably got a few months to update your site and adapt it to a mobile-friendly design.
Google's recommendations on using an adaptable design
. If you only use one URL, it's easier for users to share the content and link to it.
- It lets Google's algorithms correctly assign the indexing properties to the page without having to point to the existence of pages specifically for desktop or for mobiles.
. It minimises the chance of common errors that affect mobile webs.
It's not necessary to redirect users so that they can reach your optimised page to reduce loading time.
Moreover, redirects that are based on the user agent tend to cause errors, possibly worsening the user experience of your site (consult the section Difficulties detecting user agents to obtain more information).
. Save resources when Google's robot tracks your site. It only needs to track your page once with one of Google's robot user agents for pages that have an adaptable web design. This is so they can recover all content versions (instead of tracking them several times with different user agents).
This improvement in tracking efficiency can indirectly help Google to index the majority of your web content and keep it properly updated.
If you only use one URL, it's easier for users to share the content and link to it.