Jul 04 2019

Mobile-First Index 2019: An Overview

Posted by Charisma Felix

Mobile-first indexing is not new in Google’s algorithm. In fact, it has been around since 2016, and it continues to be used in ranking websites. Today, mobile-first indexing became more of a priority over desktop-first indexing. This is because more and more users are using mobile phones instead of desktops or laptops when browsing the internet.

Throughout the years, Google has been studying and researching various ways to improve their search engines. When they first launched mobile-first indexing in 2016, it was still in its infant phase. They did not completely remove the “desktop-first indexing” feature in their algorithm and continued to use it as a primary means of crawling into websites. The desktop version of a website was still hailed as the most relevant factor in ranking websites. A website will only be switched into mobile-first indexing if the mobile version of their website is not mobile-friendly. Nonetheless, the desktop version will be the basis for its standing on Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). 

In 2019, things turned into a complete 180 degrees. Mobile-first indexing completely took over Google’s algorithm. Google has announced recently that starting July 1st, new websites will be automatically indexed through Googlebot. Simply put, they have prioritised mobile-first indexing over desktop-first indexing. Simply because smartphones (or mobile phones) are continuously gaining popularity throughout the years. Because of its portability and smart applications, many users are enticed to use their mobile phones for searching instead of a desktop. It is so easy to just bring out their phones and make a quick search of any information that they want to know. However, this does not mean the desktop version won’t be completely useless anymore. In fact, it will still be a basis for Google’s rankings. It is just that the mobile version is given more importance over it. Websites will rank higher if their mobile version has responsive pages, a fast loading speed. Just like before, it is best for websites to keep both their mobile and desktop versions optimised for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). are still looked into each page of the website

 

Misconceptions about Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

 

Rankings

Switching into mobile-first indexing does not necessarily mean it will be easier for a website to achieve higher rankings. The mobile-first index feature is just a tool to measure the reliability of a website. It is great if old websites adapt to new changes and develop a mobile version, but this has no bearing in Google’s mobile-first indexing. Their mobile version would still be useless if they developed it just for the sake of reaping the benefits of Google’s mobile-first indexing feature. They still need to optimise their website to make it mobile-friendly to users. This is because mobile-friendliness is still a huge factor in gaining higher rankings. The convenience of the users is the top priority of major search engines like Google. They strive every day to improve their search engines and results in order to provide the most relevant results to users’ search queries.

 

Mobile-friendliness

Another misconception is that a website should be mobile-friendly for Google to crawl into their websites. This is actually not the case. Google’s mobile-first indexing feature works like a biometric scan in workplaces with high-security areas. Anyone can try to get pass through the biometric scan. However, it will deny unauthorized personnel who won’t be able to meet the requirements set up in its system. The same concept can be compared to Google’s mobile first-indexing feature. They will crawl into every website in the world wide web and check if they are eligible to get into their top rankings. They will deny those who websites who are not mobile-friendly. This means that every website has a chance to get into the top rankings as long as it is optimised and user-friendly.

 

Accordions

Accordions or hamburger menus only become a problem when it comes to mobile-first indexing if the website’s relevant information is placed inside its tabs. Nonetheless, accordions in the mobile version of a website are acceptable. The use of accordions will not really affect a website’s ranking. In fact, it can actually help boost its ranking because it provides a sleek and modern design which is appealing to users. Web developers must only make sure that the website’s relevant information must be displayed in a way in which it can be easily seen by users. This also makes it easier for a website to get featured in Google Featured Snippets.

 

The continuous advancement of smartphones has paved the way for the influx of users in the world wide web. Thus, it is essential for businesses to adopt a mobile-friendly design on their website to achieve higher rankings in Google’s SERPs.

For small businesses who are having a hard time improving their website’s rankings, there are SEO companies in Singapore who can help them out. They provide SEO packages in Singapore which includes website optimisation for mobile-friendly results.


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