Google’s Mobile-First Indexing
Each year, more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for the things they need. Google has recognized this trend and is beginning to experiment with mobile-first indexing. This means that they will look first for a site’s mobile version. If one is found, Google will index that version of the site for its search results.
If a mobile version is not found, Google will index the desktop version of the site.
It’s important to note that there will not be two separate indexes. Google will still maintain only one index. The only thing that is changing is how they determine what is indexed.
We already know that having a mobile-friendly site is great for both visitors to the site and for receiving better search results. The upcoming changes to Google’s indexing practices provide even more reason to have a responsive site.
As Google states in their blog, “If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.”
Who Might be Impacted?
This change will affect those who have separate content for mobile and desktop versions of their site. In this case, Google will not continue indexing the desktop version.
Another situation to be aware of is the presence of an m.dot site (m.domain.com). These sites were the old solution to mobile sites. Although they previously served a purpose, they are not recommended as they are a completely different site from the desktop version of a site. This makes them difficult to maintain because any updates will need to be made in two places, as opposed to one when using responsive design.
What Do You Need to Do?
If you are a BxB client you are already prepared for this change. All of our sites are built with responsive design. Your content is the same on both mobile and desktop. Google will continue to index the same information.
If your mobile site has different content than your desktop site you may start to see your rankings change as Google begins to implement mobile-first indexing.
If your site has an m.dot version it’s time for an update!