Most Searches Are Now Mobile But Google Indexes Desktop
This is the biggest news to come from Google for a while!
Google recently announced that its ranking system will be shifted towards mobile rather than desktop.
We have known for a while that mobile search has over taken desktop search, however, Google’s ranking system is still based on looking at a desktop website’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. That is all about to change!
Google has begun “experiments” to make their ranking system prioritise mobile rather than desktop. At present, their search index will “continue to a single index of websites and apps” but eventually it will use a your website’s mobile content to rank pages, rather than the desktop.
Google wrote: “We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.”
No Mobile Site? What Does This Mean?
Those of you who only have a desktop based website, Google has said “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.”
What does this mean if you haven’t got a mobile friendly website? Even though Google has said it will be “just fine” if your competitors website is mobile friendly, then they WILL rank above you in Google! Also, not having a mobile friendly website will also mean that you won’t benefit from Google’s mobile-friendly ranking boost.
Google has given some guidance on how to prepare for the mobile-focused index:
- 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.
- If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site.
- Make sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.Sites can verify the equivalence of their structured markup across desktop and mobile by typing the URLs of both versions into the Structured Data Testing Tool and comparing the output.When adding structured data to a mobile site, avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document.
- Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
- Sites do not have to make changes to their canonical links; we’ll continue to use these links as guides to serve the appropriate results to a user searching on desktop or mobile.
- If you are a site owner who has only verified their desktop site in Search Console, please add and verify your mobile version.
- If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.
Don’t Have a Mobile Friendly Website?
If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, now is a great opportunity to update your site so that it is. With this latest news from Google you will not have to worry about being penalised and your competition over taking you in the search engines. Blue Square Management offers a web design service, so contact us for more information on 01689 602 248 or email us.