Google Mobile First Indexing – Impacts on SEO

Google Mobile First Indexing

Mobile first indexing is one of Google’s ever continuing efforts to make internet user friendly and track user trends. Mobile first indexing may impact your SEO efforts in quite a few ways but there are some things you can do to work with it.

What is Mobile First Indexing?

Mobile first indexing means Google will make the mobile version of your website as the starting point of what it includes in its index and this in turn determines their ranking.

If you monitor traffic to your website, you will notice that there will be an increase in traffic from the mobile version of the page from Google.

As the name “mobile first” suggests, it is not only mobile indexing. If a site does not support mobile devices, indexing will be done on pages from the desktop version.
But website that is not built mobile friendly will have a negative impact on its SEO rankings.

In this feature, your website’s mobile version will be considered the primary version unlike previously when the desktop version was the primary one. So, you will need to optimize the mobile version of your website.

Speed – The page and image load speed on the mobile version must be optimized.

Content – Ensure your mobile version has high-quality, updated content that exists on your desktop site. This includes text, images, videos and so on. The formats must be made indexable and crawlable.

Structured Data – You must use the same structured data formats on both the mobile and desktop versions of the website.

Metadata – Ensure metadata, title and descriptions are similar in both versions.

Challenges to SEO in Mobile First Indexing

Mobile First Indexing by Google may have impacts on the SEO and rankings for the website in the following ways:

Content must match the search queries

Different search queries will be answered by a different web page. Some search queries are long tail queries, information queries, local search queries and so on. It is difficult to generalize your content to fit Google’s requirement. However, understanding what the mobile users want is a good step forward.

Satisfying Mobile Users

If you observe the SERP’s of any query, you will notice that there are different kinds of results- either review sites, informational and so on. These variations indicate that users want solutions to different problems. Google will order the SERP’s according to the most popular search query that satisfies the maximum users. Google mobile index adds the additional layer that helps understand what kind of content satisfies most users.

Impact of time on user intent

User intent depends on time as well. The time when a query is made affects the what device the user is on and what speed he needs and what information he is looking for.  Google mobile index has a layer to find out what web pages are relevant at what times of the day.

How to identify relevant content in mobile first indexing?

People of different devices look for different things. User intents are constantly changing and Google mobile first index has algorithms to figure out what satisfies users.

Mobile First is not just about user friendliness

Mobile first index is just not about gaining a user-friendly experience but also catering to the convenience of the user and satisfying user intent. For instance, sometimes a quick and short answer will be better for a user than a perfect one.

Things SEO professionals must do to prepare for Mobile First Index

Build Responsive Design for their Web pages

For the pages to rank well on the mobile first index, SEO professionals need to:

  • Design flexible site grid with proportionate measures
  • Design flexible images and text to fit any screen size.
  • Implement design modifications to suit non- desktop devices as well.
  • Create a menu suitable for mobile device

Invest in a website builder that is mobile optimized

A mobile optimized builder makes your site responsive to mobile devices.  It detects what device you are on – smartphone, tablet or any other. Google has its preferred website builder.

Develop Mobile-optimized Content

Like other parts of your website, even your content must be mobile-ready and optimized. IT can be achieved in the following ways:

  • Use mobile apps to promote content out of your website like a great deal on Amazon.
  • Develop high-quality content that makes the users glued to your site.
  • Use different forms of content to keep it interesting like Gif, images, infographics and so on.
  • Keep headlines short but strong.

If you have been following best website practices, mobile first indexing won’t do much damage. However, if you keep in mind the above points, you can face the challenges and get ahead in SEO.

Razia Shaik

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