Google’s announcement of Mobile-First Indexing has been much debated in the search community, and other publications have exhaustively covered the technical details of the change. However, there remains one question that no one has answered: what impact will this change have on business owners? This guide will give you everything you need to know about Google’s Mobile-First Indexing, how it will affect your business ROI, and how technical SEO audit services by professionals may assist you.
Some Background on the Search Engine Industry
News started circulating a few weeks ago that Google would launch a mobile-first index. This is seen as a major shift in how search engines view websites and an important update for companies looking to make their services accessible on mobile devices. A recent report shows that 92% of Americans own cell phones, 72% of which are smartphones. If you want your company to succeed, it’s no longer just important to have your website available on a desktop or laptop computer—it needs to be accessible through all screens. The new mobile-first index will only further emphasize that need. But what does it mean for your business? How will having a mobile-first site affect your rankings? What should you do if you don’t have one already? These are few questions that you need to brainstorm.
What Is Mobile-First Indexing?
Google’s mobile-first indexing means that it will now primarily use (or index) that page’s mobile version when considering a page for inclusion in its index. This is a change from its traditional practice of using desktop pages as master copies and then copying over parts to serve up to users on mobile devices. If a mobile version isn’t available, it will fall back to its standard algorithm.
The update is meant to help search results reflect how users interact with content on their phones. There are some major implications of the shift for marketers and SEO professionals alike. Here’s what you need to know about Google’s new search policy.
Why Is It Important? It’s important because, according to Google, more than half of all searches take place on mobile devices. And since user behaviour differs between platforms—people tend to perform more localized searches on their phones—it makes sense that Google would want to make sure it reflects those differences in its search rankings. In other words: if your site doesn’t have a strong mobile presence, you could be at risk of losing traffic due to poor rankings; conversely, if your site does have a strong mobile presence but no desktop presence (because you don’t have an existing website), your site could also suffer under the new rules. Either way: keep reading!
The Biggest Takeaways from an SEO Professional’s Perspective
SEO has long been one of those hot topics for marketing and advertising. When Google first announced that they would be Mobile First, businesses worldwide really took notice. Why? Because not having a mobile presence was becoming something that could kill your online business. With about half of all web searches now coming from mobile devices, it is almost imperative for companies of all sizes to step up their game for a mobile presence. This can be how their business operates or even just creating an app for customers who like you on Facebook. After learning about some of these changes from people who are actually in the industry (search engine optimization), here are some insights as to what might happen in 2022 with Google’s Mobile-First indexing:
Some Takeaways from an SEO Professional’s Perspective: It used to be that you needed to have a desktop version of your website with a mobile version tacked onto it. Now, there is only one site. You need to make sure that it looks good on any device – desktop or otherwise – but more importantly, you need to make sure that it works well for anyone using a mobile device. Many small businesses will still fall short because they don’t have enough time or money to get everything perfect, yet try to make sure things worked out okay in 2022!
Ways to Prepare for Mobile-First Indexing
If you’re an SEO consultant, it could be a good idea to recommend that your clients update their content and make it mobile-friendly. Here are some tips for businesses who want to improve their page load times:
1. Make sure pages load faster by compressing graphics using image editing software
2. Compress files, such as PDFs, using compression software
3. Optimize code by removing unnecessary information
4. Use AMP if you have a large number of users on mobile
5. Create pages with smaller file sizes (2MB or less)
6. Use CSS sprites, which combine multiple images into one to decrease file size
7. Consider moving heavy media off your main domain by linking back to it instead of
8. Improve mobile load times by limiting redirects
9. Limit redirect chains
11. Minimize redirects
12. Reduce DNS lookups
13. Minimize cookie size.
14. Reduce web fonts
15. Reduce HTTP requests
16. Move scripts to the bottom
17. Add rel=canonical tags
A Final Word on Mobile-First Indexing
As with any SEO Trends, you can’t and shouldn’t expect immediate changes to your search rankings. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy fix, there isn’t one. However, with any site redesign or new marketing strategy implementation, it’s always good to stay on top of industry trends and shifts. The future is here and now, making it more important than ever to stay informed and up-to-date on what changes are happening to be ahead of your competition in every way possible.
There is currently no way to know how much time will pass before you see results from mobile-first indexing—or whether or not any changes will even happen. Yet many experts agree: If done correctly, adopting mobile strategies as soon as possible may help ensure your business’s long-term success in organic search traffic. By continuing to monitor updates made by Google and other platforms, testing various strategies and providing consumer education about effective content creation for all channels (not just mobile), businesses can stand out in an increasingly digital world.