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What is Google’s Mobile-First Index?

3 April 2018
A group of people using phones | What is Google's Mobile-First Index? | Neon

The world moves quickly and people are able to find whatever they want wherever they are in no time at all through their mobile phone. Google knows this and has announced that it’s changing the way it decides how to rank websites: focusing on the mobile version instead of the desktop version.

Are you ready for it?

People are demanding better experiences on mobile. They want to complete a transaction without any friction. And that means brands that want to remain competitive need to make mobile experiences a priority.

Matt Bush, UK Agency Director at Google

What is the Mobile-First Index?

The Mobile-First Index is a change in the way Google ranks websites in its Search Engine Rankings Pages (SERPs).

Up until now, Google has determined the rankings of a site based on its desktop version. Now that’s going to change and instead, it will be based on the mobile version. Writing on its Webmaster Central Blog, Google said:

“Currently our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”

What do site owners need to do?

If your site is in need of some tune-ups, there are some key areas you should be exploring:

  • Improving page load speed
  • Optimising content for mobile
  • Optimising for voice search
  • Optimising for Featured Snippets
  • Implementing Schema Markup
  • Implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • Getting an SSL/TLS certificate

These issues may seem daunting, but they needn’t be. We’ve compiled a quick and easy-to-understand guide that outlines how you can adapt to Google’s Mobile-First Index.

Download your free guide here.

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