Google Mobile-first Indexing Explained
The world according to Google has changed once again, and it can impact your website rankings in a positive or negative way.
Google is now using an algorithm that will crawl the mobile version of your website first to rank it for search terms. They want to provide mobile users (think smart phone or tablet) the best results possible. Mobile users are now the majority of internet users, and this is Google’s way of helping them find what they are looking for.
1. So what does that mean for my website?
In the past, Google has used an algorithm (think math formula) to crawl the internet to find the desktop versions of your website and make a ranking decision based upon hundreds of different ranking factors. Now it's going mobile first. If you do not have a mobile version of your website or your website is not built with a “responsive design”, then your rankings could be negatively affected. To check if you have a responsive website, view it on a mobile phone. If you have to “pinch and squeeze” to see your website content, it is NOT responsive design.
To do: Contact your website company to check on the mobile-friendliness of your website.
2. I have a mobile friendly website – what can I do to help my mobile rankings?
As we have said in the past, content on your website is the first thing to look at. Great text with your primary search terms is where to start. Make sure your videos and images are in formats that can be crawled and indexed. If you have a separate mobile website, ensure that you have equivalent title/header tags, and that you have links to sitemaps that are accessible via the mobile version.
To do: If you have a responsive design, there is nothing to do because Google sees the same site on mobile and desktop. If you have a separate mobile website, get in touch with your website company and ask some questions about the SEO on it.
3. What else can I do to help Google find my mobile-friendly website?
Social media is as important now as ever. Conduct an engagement campaign across several social channels (Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+/Instagram) and back link to your website. If you have a "Google My Business” (GMB) account, make sure to have the correct address, telephone number, website link, and email for your company. Add photos, and get reviews for your business in GMB. You can now also make posts onto your Google My Business page. If Google gives you the ability to do it, you should do it.
To do: If you don’t have a Google My Business account setup, get one! It’s free, and fairly easy to setup. Also, talk to your webmaster about Google Search Console. He or she can configure your site in search console and will have access to terrific data and recommendations that can help you in organic search.
Bottom Line Take Away
If your website is not mobile friendly, it needs to be. Check your rankings on your smartphone to see how your business is being affected with the new mobile first indexing.
As always, call us if we can help you.