Those tiny rectangles we carry around in our pockets and purses will now have a bigger impact on rankings. Google announced it has started to experiment with mobile-first indexing. In these experiments Google will take a look at the mobile version of a site and its content first, and then check the desktop version if necessary, when making ranking decisions. This does not constitute a full blown algorithm update, it’s basically in beta right now.
Not a Yuuuge Shocker
Unlike the election results, most people in the industry saw this coming. Mobile searches have been starting to overtake desktop searches for a while now. So it makes sense that Google would pivot to make mobile content a higher priority than desktop.
In a statement, Google said:
To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.
What To Do With Mobile SEO
Once Google fine tunes the results of this test, it’s likely it will be applied universally. This shouldn’t cause too much shock, because having a high quality mobile site has been an industry standard for quite some time now. This just cements mobile content as an imperative, instead of a strong suggestion. Sites without a mobile version will continue to be indexed just fine, but they won’t get the bonus points mobile provides.