Google Means Business With Mobile-First Indexing
Posted on 5th January 2017 at 11:27
Most of us now use our mobiles to browse the web, and Google has decided it needs to follow the trend and change the way it indexes websites, referencing website information shown to a mobile user, rather than relying on the desktop version of the website, which is what has happened previously. This might mean you need to look again at your website structure, even if you have a "mobile-friendly" or a mobile version of your website. Let's look at this in more detail...
Google's New Mobile First Indexing Algorithm
To read Google's orginal blog post, click here.
Until now, Google has used the information from the desktop version of a website to populate results for users searching on mobile devices, but this is about to change. Google now proposes to evaluate the content shown on the mobile version of the website, instead of checking the desktop version.
Google plans to rely on the content available to a mobile searcher, rather than the full website (if it is different). Although Google says it is experimenting with these new search algorithms, judging from past experience they will quickly prove the point and move to the new system.
If you have a responsive site (this is the latest version of our it'seeze websites - read more about it'seeze website packages) - or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup (this is the language in which your website is written) is the same across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
If you don't have a responsive site, and your website has a configuration where the primary content and the markup is different on a mobile and a desktop, you ought to think about making some changes to your site:
Make sure you serve structured markup for both the the desktop and the mobile version. You can check this using Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to compare the structured markup across desktop and mobile devices.
Google suggests that when adding structured data to a mobile site, you should avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document.
Use the robots.txt testing tool to check that the mobile versionof your website is definitely accessible to Google's Googlebot.
Google says that you do not need to change your canonical links; they will continue to use the links as guides to deliver the appropriate results to the relevant device.
If you don't have a mobile site you still ought to think about having one (to take advantage of the ever-growing number of searches made from mobiles and to stand out against your competitors with an optimised mobile responsive website) but Google says its mobile user agent will still be able to index your site.
Search Console changes so make sure you add and verify your mobile site in Search Console. Here's how to use Search Console - it is a free and useful SEO tool.
Tagged as: Online marketing
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