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After the mildly exciting holiday buzz has slowly drifted away from our shores, a few gems on the sand are left behind.
One of which is Google’s latest good news. Well, to some, it can be another bad news of the year.
Mobile-first indexing was first rolled out by Google on March 26th of 2018. Here they explain that they are migrating websites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.
Before all of this, Google would crawl, index and rank pages based on the desktop versions of websites. This however, can lead to a few problems on mobile searchers. Which is to be expected. Mobile pages are vastly different from the normal desktop set up. Because Google is aware that everyone out there is starting to become more mobile oriented, they made steps in making sure that the websites that show up on mobile devices are also optimized.
Mobile-first indexing was then introduced to index and rank all the mobile versions of websites to better help mobile users find all the information they need.
They also announced back in March that they will notify website owners that they are migrating to mobile-first indexing via the Google search console. And if you didn’t get any notification on your search console, it means you’ve been a bad child all year.
Just this December 19th 2018, Google once again shared to the world another news about the mobile-first indexing. They now have half of all the pages shown in search results (in a global scale) migrated to the mobile-first indexing. All of these sites will enjoy a significant increase in crawl rate on smartphones. This generally means that all the sites that were included here were the ones that closely followed all of Google’s advice. Helping them adapt to a future where everyone is going mobile.
If you’ve seen all this happening all around you all year and you didn’t do anything or implement any sort of recommended changes on your site, you’re in trouble. Mild trouble. Since this is still fixable and you still have time to catch up. If decide to.
Websites that mainly use responsive design techniques are automatically included. For those that aren’t, these are the usual problems:
Structured data helps Google better understand the content on your website’s pages. This allows the search engine to highlight the pages in cool ways making them more attractive to searchers. If you see structured data on your site’s desktop pages, the mobile versions of your pages will also have them. If you don’t have a mobile version of your pages, the structured data will be missed out. Remember that in mobile-first indexing, only the mobile versions of your pages get indexed.
Another aspect are the missing alt text on pages.
As we all know by now, alternate texts are texts that are placed on images on your site so that in the event that your images won’t load properly, an alternative text will show up and describe what the image is supposed to be.
It’s a cool and very helpful detail out there among all those websites. But only to those that do include them. Don’t get me wrong though. Sometimes we all just post content together with all those images and just lazily adjust them and just forget all about the Alt texts and never really put them all there. However, the time has finally come where all your laziness will bring about the slow grinding halt of your website.
These are also important because of the Mobile-Friendly test. One big factor in all of this is that your site should at least pass this.
Want to know if your site is mobile friendly? Test it out yourself.
Now that you already know all of these, I mean, almost every source of SEO news out there has already covered this topic, perhaps it’s time you get with the program and update your site. Creatures in the jungle that don’t adapt get extinct, keep that in mind.