On November 4, 2016, Google announced they are experimenting with “mobile first indexing”.
On November 1, 2016, Telapost announced Google is experimenting mobile first indexing. (Ref: Google Search Results Changing in Mobile Before Desktop). But, I was referring to search results changing on mobile before they changed on desktop. While this is true, there is more to the story that I hadn’t initially realized.
What is Mobile First Indexing?
Google is shifting to ranking web pages based on the content they display on mobile. Some websites display different content to mobile users than desktop users.
While most people use a responsive website that displays the same content to everyone, some websites do not display the same content via mobile.
This is a good move by Google, as in many niches, mobile search exceeds desktop search. In fact, if I were running Google, I would have done this years ago. In fact, in May 2014 I wrote the article “Why websites that are not mobile friendly should be penalized”, where I point out that many sites are what I call “mobile redirect sites” and should not rank in mobile search.
What to do
Very few people have much to worry about, but, for example, if you:
- Visit a page on your blog and there is nothing there
- Visit a service or product page and it has drastically less content than your desktop website
- You have redirects or a separate mobile site
Then you could be in trouble.
This is just a test
The actual mobile first index is a long ways out and is not suspected to be in full swing until 2017 or 2018.