Time is up! Google is crawling and indexing mobile websites as a priority over desktop sites. This change has been implemented on April 1, 2018.
Don’t expect to be ranked on Google if you are not mobile friendly and optimized. More and more of browser traffic is now coming from mobile devices, and it is imperative for your website to follow a mobile-first rule today! Google has estimated that since 2015, a majority of people visit Google Search from a mobile device, such as a smartphone. Since mobile websites are different than desktop sites, search engines like Google have developed new algorithms and guidelines for ranking these sites in their results. Mobile has changed the way sites are being ranked in Google, and it is obvious with Google’s new mobile-first strategy, mobile sites are being prioritized in search results. Iffel International’s SEO Geek Squad is very focused on Google since it is the number one search engine in the United States and in many other parts of the world. This impacts the United States and international SEO methodology.
Google’s mobile-first ruling means that Google will have one index for search results: mobile. They will be looking for your mobile website to index the web, and not the desktop site as a priority. Desktops will be drop as a matter of priority but will still have some level of indexing.
A true mobile website (right), versus a desktop site. The differences are clear: mobile sites provide a better viewing and interacting experience for smaller screens with larger text, images, and controls that do not require zooming in to access.
In order for your website to be fully compatible with Google’s new indexing and ranking strategies, there needs to be a mobile-friendly component. One of the reasons many websites have lost their status and rankings on Google is because their websites are not mobile friendly. As a result, these websites are unable to be ranked using mobile SEO—or search engine optimization—and unable to gain traction in Google’s search results. This can have devastating effects on businesses, who rely on search engines to drive customers to their businesses. This can mean less revenue and less growth potential. All of these problems can be fixed with creating a mobile website, or a mobile-friendly website, that Google can index and properly rank. When a mobile site is developed, your website can perform better in mobile search results—or search results that are produced when visiting Google from a mobile device (which differ from desktop search results).
Google’s mobile strategy positions mobile websites in organic search. This means a mobile site will appear high in the rankings (such as page 1), because of its relevance to the query (such as the gas grill query to the right), not because of the influence of ads and maps.
These changes to how Google ranks and indexes—the mobile-first shift—will not happen overnight. It will take a while for Google to shift all sites to mobile-first indexing. For the time being, Google will shift the websites that are the most mobile-friendly and some that are using Google’s AMP technology (for faster loading pages). These websites that are chosen will see more traffic from the “Googlebot smartphone,” and Google will now show the mobile site snippet in search results.
In order for your website to be successful in Google’s search results, it must be Google friendly. In order to be Google friendly as Google looks towards the future, it is first crucial that a mobile site exists for the majority of users that visit Google on their smartphones or other mobile devices. Secondly, it is important that SEO strategies are developed in order to make that mobile site more compatible with Google’s mobile-first strategy. Once Google completes the transition to using mobile sites to index their pages, it is important to have a solid mobile site in place that is competitive on Google’s search engine, and can be properly indexed and ranked. If a mobile site does not exist, Google will deprioritize your website. This means that websites that desktop-only sites will not only be difficult to navigate for mobile users, but they will also lose their status on Google, inhibiting any growth that is expected from your website.
For the time being, Google is boosting certain mobile sites, and having a mobile site in place at this time can guarantee that your site is ready for the future and Google-friendly. Also, there is the chance that this website may see a boost in Google’s search results, driving more customers. It is key to make your mobile site attractive for Google’s search algorithms for better rankings as well as fast and responsive so that mobile users have the best experience.
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