As we speak Google is in the midst of rolling out their Mobile-First Update.
As always on the net their are many individual interpretations of what the update is about and how it will effect you.
I checked out Google Webmaster’s explanation and following excerpt is courtesy of https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing
“Best practices for mobile-first indexing
Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.
With mobile-first indexing, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent. We will continue to show the URL that is the most appropriate to users (whether it’s a desktop or mobile URL) in Search results.
As we said, we transition sites slowly to ensure a good experience for site owners and users. We evaluate each site individually on its readiness for mobile-first indexing based on the best practices and transition the site when the site is ready.
Another interesting excerpt from Google courtesy of https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/03/rolling-out-mobile-first-indexing.html
- Mobile-indexing is rolling out more broadly. Being indexed this way has no ranking advantage and operates independently from our mobile-friendly assessment.
- Having mobile-friendly content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better in mobile search results.
- Having fast-loading content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better for mobile and desktop users.
- As always, ranking uses many factors. We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show.
We’ll continue to monitor and evaluate this change carefully.
My take on all of this is …
While Google is down-playing any thoughts that mobile-first indexing will not affect organic rankings, in time we will find that mobile performance will totally guide organic ranking results so I strongly suggest to all local business website owners to get your house in order now. By following my advice you could avoid a sharp drop in rankings when mobile does control ranking factors.
It is as simple as this, don’t worry what Google is doing or might affect, it just makes sense that with the bulk of website viewers using mobile devices these days that we should ensure we are delivering the best mobile experience we can to keep our business thriving and derail any chance of ranking or sales dipping on us and affecting our sales.
If you would like a full complimentary web audit that covers both desktop and mobile metrics then please go to our contact page and request an audit via our online form. You will not only get back an unbiased audit, but a quote to fix whatever problems you might have and we will even tell you what you need to do if perhaps your budget is tight and you want to do it yourself.