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What You Should Know About Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

Woman holding iPhone while sitting in front of laptop

In early 2018, Google implemented their long-awaited mobile-first search indexing for their search. This is because most searchers today use mobile phones more often to find information that is important to them.

Along with standard SEO practices, web administrators and designers should create or modify their websites with a mobile-first structure in mind. Google’s index will rank sites based on how they load on a mobile phone. Google will still crawl on desktop sites if no mobile site is available, but those pages will rank lower on search results. Here are few things you should know about mobile first design

Sites Should Be Responsive

Responsiveness refers to a site’s ability to change shape and size in different screen resolutions. If your desktop site is responsive. Most of the work is already done to make your site mobile-first.

Mobile and Desktop Sites Should Have Similar Content

If you have a mobile subdomain (such as m.website.com) you should make sure that the mobile site has identical content as the desktop site.

If you build or modify your mobile site, Google recommends that you only go live with it once everything is complete, instead of gradually building an incomplete mobile site.

Make use of Mobile Features

According to Google’s Mobile first indexing guidelines, hidden and collapsed content sections will be treated similarly to plainly visible content since hiding content in tabs saves space on a small mobile screen. Web designers should make use of these features on pages with lots of content, such as F.A.Q. pages.

Faster Loading = Higher Rankings

After responsiveness, Google’s Mobile First Index will look at site loading time and the size of images and website assets. When a Google provides search results to mobile phones on a given topic, it will rank sites that load faster higher on the page.

Google has a free web tool called PageSpeed Insights to test how fast your website loads. After it analyzes your site, PageSpeed Insights gives recommendations on how to optimize your website to load faster.

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