Are you ready for the mobile search index?
There is really no excuse for you to not be. This has been spoken about for months, which as a business owner should have given you time to change and update any websites ready to take advantage of this change.
For those that haven’t embraced this opportunity you may find you are going to get left behind as Googles focus continues to shift towards mobile only websites.
This was first brought to many people’s attention on the 30th September 2015 this is what stood out;
Gary Illyes from Google put down a pretty interesting tweet on Twitter saying that Google is still working on a mobile only index even though right now they only have a desktop index.
The way Gary said it was like when a teacher gives a student a strict warning about what might or might not be on the upcoming final.
Gary said, “please don’t assume we WON’T have different indexing for mobile.” Adding “we are still experimenting, but it may happen.”
At this stage of the conversion it was not fully understood whether there would be an individual index for mobile and desktop sites or whether Google was going to place any preference to either.
As time has moved forward and getting closer to the end of 2016 it did become very apparent that mobile sites were going to be the clear winners in 2017 with Google confirming the creation of a separate mobile index “Mobile Sites Only” as well as keeping a separate desktop index, however this “Desktop Index” will not be as updated as the mobile index.
Then on the 13th October 2016 this appeared on Search Engine Land;
Within months, Google to divide its index, giving mobile users better & fresher content
Currently, Google has a single index of documents for search. Google’s Gary Illyes announced they plan on releasing a separate mobile search index, which will become the primary one.
Google is going to create a separate mobile index within months, one that will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.
The news came today during a keynote address from Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, at Pubcon. Illyes didn’t give a timeline in his talk, but in a follow-up with Search Engine Land, he confirmed that it would happen within “months.”
What To Expect In 2017
Whatever you are doing right now within your online business you need to stop doing it and focus solely on getting your website mobile search ready. Whether you use a smart phone or not to search the web Google believes most do which is why you are going to find more and more that sites that are completely optimised for mobile will start appearing above your site in any search done on mobile phones.
What Do You Need To Do Right Now
First of all, have a plan and understand exactly what it is Google now expects from a website.
Right now what we do know is that Google ranks websites only using their desktop index, but we also know that is going to change. To better serve the mobile audience Google will be cracking down on any sites that are serving two different types of content and the consistency between the two.
“Marketers Should Avoid Adding Large Amounts Of Markup And Take Out Any Extra Schemas That Are Irrelevant To The Content Of Their Pages”
Google’s mobile first update is set to demote websites that serve different or abbreviated content on mobile whilst serving more in-depth and detailed versions of that content on desktop.
This is to make sure mobile websites are ranked based only on the content they’re actually supplying and mobile users are being directed to sites containing exactly what they’ve searched for.
Whilst the update is inevitably coming, the industry is yet to be provided with a date for when it will take effect or how to prepare for the transition. In order to fully understand and be better prepared for the consequences of the update, marketers need to begin adopting mobile first strategies before the index changes take effect.
User Experience, Page Speed, Mobile Responsive
These are the only factors you need to be thinking about right now. Why because if you get them wrong any other ranking factors such as on-page/Off-page SEO and social signals are irrelevant.
The very first thing you need to do is jump on over to the Google Mobile Friendly Test Page Mobile Friendly test page and make sure you are mobile friendly by adding your site URL in the field provided on the page.
Once the URL is checked you should see a message telling you whether or not the page you submitted is mobile ready or not. If you are mobile ready then you will also get an option to submit that page to Google.
As things unfold online and we get to see the results of the new Mobile index we will add and update this post. If you would like to know more about anything mentioned on this page or even something related that we have not listed please comment below and we will add it in with the next update.