This move was being speculated for quite some time, but now Google has officially announced its intentions to prioritize the mobile users market. Recent research by Hitwise, an online survey agency, titled ‘Mobile Search: Topics and Themes’ showed that the number of mobile phones Google search users was more than 57% in the US alone. This could sufficiently mean more than 50% mobile users are accessing Google Search on an average at the global level.
New Google Algorithm for Mobile Index
Gary Illyes, from Google, recently announced at PubCon that Google is set to switch priority to the mobile first index as opposed to its current desktop-centric indexing of search results. This will allow AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) as well as portable (mobile) internet device optimized websites to have priority over the other desktop versions of websites for mobile phone Google Search users.
How does it change the situation?
This marks a significant and path-breaking step from Google, as earlier, it always gave priority to the desktop version and concentrated less on the mobile indexing factors, even for mobile phone users. However, seeing the immense rise in mobile phone Google users, the company has decided to improve user experience with maximum ranking for mobile-friendly websites in their SERPs (search engine result pages).
When will this happen?
Although this change is set to be imminent, it is expected to be gradually implemented over the next few months. This is meant to be a signal to online website owners to hasten their website’s transition to a mobile-friendly version.
Google is set to announce the changes, when they take place, with an official blog post which will also have all important details that this change will specifically cause for SEO.
What does it mean for Websites?
Now, it is time for website owners to create the best and most efficient mobile version of their website. For those who already have a mobile website, it is advisable to improve it. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the mobile version of your website is as effective as the original and effective desktop version. The similarity between the qualities of your website’s desktop version and the mobile version can determine the flow of traffic to the mobile website.
What can a Website Owner do now?
It is advisable for owners with both, the desktop and the mobile, versions to improve their mobile website. If your desktop version is already more successful, you can try and incorporate some of the major characteristics that you feel sets it apart from the competition into your mobile website version.
This also brings us to the importance of concentrating our efforts, possibly more, on the mobile version of your website. This includes checking the relevancy, structure, and quality of content. Extensive SEO efforts should be made to ensure that your website’s mobile version ranks at the top of the Google SERPs. It is important that in order to make the mobile version of the desktop lighter the more relevant and important content should not be left out.
If the mobile first indexing is anything like the current desktop indexing, then relevancy of content and popularity (user traffic) will be major factors in Google’s mobile SERP ranking.