What’s this Mobile First Index 2018 about?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO Update 16 June 2017 – a weekly free guide to the latest SEO updates.

In this thought-piece, you can read actionable insights into the reasons for Google’s Mobile First Index not hitting until 2018, and what to do about it. If you would like to discuss ways these insights and the looming Mobile First Index could impact your web business, please feel free to contact me.

#SEO #MobileFirst #MobileSearch #GoogleUpdates

Mobile First Index Won’t Hurt Hit Until 2018


  • During SMX Advanced in Seattle, Gary Illyes told the audience that the looming Mobile First Index is unlikely to roll out before 2018.
  • He intimated that the aim will be to roll it out in a way that doesn’t hurt non-mobile-friendly websites, and that responsive websites should be “good to go”.
  • The mobile-first index may also include some desktop signals, and eradicating those may take up to five years.
  • PageSpeed will be a factor, and Google is working towards including mobile page speed as a ranking factor (currently it’s desktop speed).
  • Google appears to be playing the Mobile First Index down somewhat.

TWIS 16 June 2017 Mobile First Delayed

Mobile First Index – Actions to take:

  1. If you haven’t got your mobile first site up and running yet, get it done.
  2. If you have a mobile, or responsive site, make sure it is geared towards becoming mobile-first.
  3. Stay tuned for release updates. Google promises to communicate loudly about this and not leave development work until Google finally confirms a hard launch date.
  4. Contact me if you would like to discuss the impact the upcoming Mobile First Index could have on your web business.

Mobile First Discussions:

Google are putting a brave face on it, but something is not right with their development of the mobile-first index.

Firstly, there have been delays. This is not uncommon in large projects, but it does seem unusual for Google. That may be influenced by the historical lack of prior announcements though.

Secondly, it really looks like the feature set being deployed keeps getting cut back to account for more instances where desktop sites deliver the only good user experience in the search set. The next thing you know, they’ll be announcing Mobile First as an MVP (minimum viable product) release.

Thirdly, my instincts tell me that they are running their current work against their indices, and the results emerging are poor—somewhat similar to when they created an index without linking signals—and it turned out that was a very poor index, not good enough to surface to users.

The Mobile First Index is going to be a big deal. It seems like Google may be downplaying it so they can release something they are calling “mobile-first,” but in reality it’s desktop-lite.

Most sensible businesses have been designing mobile-first for the last three to four years, but there is still a large set of businesses and sites that have not gone mobile-friendly yet and still have no plans to do so. That inherent inertia is a big problem for Google.

More info:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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  • The Mobile First Index is delayed until 2018.
  • Google is backtracking on its impact, indicating “issues”, either in programming or outputs.
  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017. It’s good for you.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what the Mobile First Index might mean for your web property or would like to know how to plan for it, and deal with it, please feel free to contact me.

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