With the advent of mobile technology, mobile web browsing has now overtaken desktop web browsing. A research carried out by StatCounter in 2016 showed that the global mobile and tablet browsing accounted for 51.3% against the desktop browsing that accounted for 48.3%. Another study released by Stone Temple Consulting earlier this year also stated that over 55% of all traffic is coming from a mobile device, which will continue to grow year on year. As mobile search has taken over the desktop, it makes sense that Google will focus on mobile to become the dominant index. In November 2016, Google announced that it would break away from the traditional desktop search index and move to mobile-first search indexing. This change will probably roll out in the first or second quarter of 2018. It will be rolled out in batches and not all at once.
This means Google will index and rank your website based on the content of the mobile experience and not on the desktop experience, as it used to do previously. A Search Engine Index is a collection of pages that the search engine discovers through crawling of the website links. Google crawls the web from the browser point of view which is now changing to a mobile browser view. Google now uses the mobile version of the web as the primary search engine index.
So it’s time you prepare yourself for this index by taking following actions:
1) Browse through Google Webmaster’s Blog Post
It is recommended that you get your information straight from the main source. Vital information has been made available by Google in their post that helps you determine what you need to do.
Few of the recommendations are as follows:
If your website is already coded as responsive where the primary content and markup is in sync and identical across the mobile and desktop platforms, then you don’t need to change anything.
If your site is configured in such a way that the primary content and markup is different across both the platforms, then it’s time you start making changes to your website.
2) Go Responsive
Google recommends a mobile-friendly website design as highlighted in the recommendation above. Even though having a separate mobile site is still acceptable, it is an age-old trend and may not be sustainable in the long run. Moreover, in such a case you have to ensure that your primary content still exists on your mobile site. This guideline needs to be strictly adhered to or you risk a negative impact on your SEO. Having a single URL that adapts to all the platforms is beneficial to users, search engines, and the resources maintaining the website.
3) Don’t Discount Expandable Content
Expandable content such as the content hidden in tabs, accordions, or expandable boxes was not weighted as high for desktop websites. However, for mobile sites, the expandable content will be given full weight if they serve to improve the user experience. The reason for this is that expandable content is necessary and makes more sense on mobile than on desktop.
To conclude, if you have ignored mobile optimization till now, you cannot continue doing that any longer.
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