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The Lowdown on Google’s Mobile First Index (Part Two)

As promised, here is the second half of our two-part post covering the fundamentals of Google’s new mobile first index:

Will the change have a significant impact on how websites currently rank?

Contrary to how it may come across at first, Google has gone on record to say on a couple of occasions that no big changes to rankings should be noticeable.  They have insisted that on this occasion, the overall goal is not to radically shake up current rankings, but instead work towards a better, more mobile-focused search future. But at the same time, it looks increasingly likely that those not delivering the goods for mobile customers may suffer as a result.

When will the changes be implemented?

All we know for the time-being is that the new mobile-first index is being tested by Google, which would seem to suggest that it will be at least a number of months before it goes live. In addition, it is likely that when the overhaul does come into effect, it will be rolled out relatively gradually. Nevertheless, as no official timeframes have yet been confirmed or even hinted at by Google, it’s important to be ready for anything, in order to avoid being caught off-guard.

Does this mean that mobile-friendly websites will step up in the rankings?

Not necessarily, though it is possible that websites catering most prominently and comprehensively to mobile crowds will begin seeing an improvement in their overall SERP performance. However, it seems unlikely at this stage that any significant climbs or falls can be expected as of the moment the new system is rolled out.

How can I check that my mobile pages are being picked up by Google?

Using the Fetch and Render tool in the Google Search Console is the quickest and easiest way of checking if anything is missing. This will allow you to see a rendered result of how each of your pages is picked up and effectively ‘seen’ by Google. If there are any omissions, errors or issues in general, you will then be able to look into how to repair them.

Is it worth moving to a mobile-only web strategy?

For the time-being, standard desktop web browsing is still way too popular and important to be ignored or shelved entirely. However, Google has made it abundantly clear that we are indeed entering an era where sooner or later, operating a high-quality mobile website exclusively will be more than sufficient. Given the current acceleration of mobile web markets, it is likely that by the end of the current decade, total global desktop Internet traffic will have reached the kind of all-time low few could have predicted.

If you have any concerns as to the validity or the value of your own mobile web strategy, now’s the time to seek expert advice and assistance. Call Search & More today on 0161 669 5544 or email hello@searchandmore.co.uk for furthe assistance.

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