Another year, another SEO development from the folks at Google.
The Google team has announced that ‘mobile first indexing’ has been an ‘ongoing effort’ and that by March 2021 mobile first indexing will be enabled for all sites in Search.
In this article, we take a look at what that means for small business owners across the land.
What is Mobile First Indexing?
Google uses software called web crawlers to analyse webpages and bring data back to Google about the pages to determine the order in which they appear on their search engine. The better your Search Engine Optimisation, the higher your website will rank. The crawlers observe a range of information they find on the site, including; content, keywords, and ‘freshness’ – this ultimately helps to build the Google search results.
Previously, Google crawlers primarily analysed the desktop version of websites, but as the number of people accessing websites via mobile devices now outnumbers people using desktops, Google say that all sites in search will be indexed using the mobile version of the website first.
That means if you don’t have a mobile version of your website or your website isn’t fully mobile optimised, then your website’s search engine position will likely suffer.
In their blog post Google state:
“In mobile-first indexing, we will only get the information of your site from the mobile version, so make sure Googlebot can see the full content and all resources there.”
The important point to take away is that, if you have any content that is hidden on smaller screens such as phones and tablets, Google will no longer include this in user searches. So you need to ensure all of your content now works fully on all screen sizes.
They go on to highlight some of the following aspects that website owners should consider:
- Check your Google search console to view mobile first indexing for your pages.
- Check your images and video are optimised and tagged properly for mobile.
- Check that your Google Console settings are correct and your mobile website isn’t blocking Google’s crawlers.
- Make sure primary content is the same on mobile and desktop.
Google state some key criteria that you’ll need to adhere to for your site to tick all the boxes. You can find out more by visiting Google’s developer guide.
Still Confused About Mobile First Indexing?
We know that SEO can seem like a really complicated thing to master, but don’t worry, that’s why we’re here to help!
If you need help checking your website’s mobile friendliness and ensuring it is optimised for mobile first indexing, then we’d love to help. Six Ticks offer a free mobile website review so please contact our friendly team to find out more.