Google Starts Testing Mobile First Index

What’s this about?

I’m excited by Google’s forthcoming Mobile First Index. Google is already testing results in SERPs.

I think it has the chance to shake up the search results majorly.

I think it will also motivate some laggard websites to finally adopt a mobile-first approach, or even just acknowledge mobile.

I hope you’re website is Responsive, or you have got your ducks in a row for this Google Update.

Read the Key Issues, Key Actions & Insights from this extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 6th October 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #MobileFirst #SERP #GoogleUpdates


Google Starts Testing Mobile First Index

Key Issues Summary:

  • News leaked this week that Google is already testing its mobile first index live on unsuspecting search users.
  • Google also stated that it may message webmasters who have issues with developing their websites for mobile first. This would likely be through Google Search Console.
  • Google is using this live search results deployment to build classifiers for their algorithms around the similarity of desktop and mobile page versions.

Google Starts Testing Mobile First Index

Key Actions List:

  1. If your website is not mobile-first, now is the time to make it so.
  2. The most straight-forward and safest way to do that is to use responsive web design and ensure that all content on the desktop site is available on the mobile site.
  3. If you use separate mobile and desktop websites, life is about to get tricky as you need to maintain a high degree of similarity between the content bases and meta tag information.
  4. (See Google: Four Things to Get Right for Mobile First Index for more information)
  5. If you do not have a mobile website, and do not have a responsive website, you should prepare for much reduced search visibility.
  6. Click here to contact me to discuss how to check your site for mobile-first readiness.

Insights & Discussion:

This is big news which seems innocuous. It also gives a good insight into how Google now constructs its algorithms.

The number of live search results based on mobile first indexing are not that significant, but it is still a step-change.

What is interesting is that Google is using the results as a test-bed to build their algorithms, trying to identify on the fly if mobile content is the same as desktop content. You would imagine that Google is pulling information from different indices to make this work in the search results.

This means that there isn’t a single index serving results. They are a composite of more than one index and can be interpreted, ranked and displayed on-load. Whatever way you look at it, that is a pretty cool bit of software engineering.

I do have an issue with Google using Google Search Console to communicate to webmasters. I don’t think they achieve their desired results by doing that, and they could do a lot better. I’ll blog about that.

More Information:

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Mobile First is NOT Mobile Friendly


TL;DR

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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