Google made it clear in recent years that mobile website compatibility is important and in 2019 it is changing to mobile-first indexing that will become a key factor in website ranking. Originally, the mobile-first index was introduced in March 2018, when Google announced that after more than a year of testing and experimenting, they have started migrating sites for mobile-first indexing.
At the same time, Google reminded that its ranking and indexing systems, up to then used the desktop version of the content, which is different from mobile. By introducing the mobile-first indexing, the indexing and ranking would change and focus primarily on mobile users.
Mobile-First Indexing Preparation
The most important ranking factor in mobile is fast loading, over 70% of mobile sites take longer than seven seconds to load, while more than 50% of mobile users simply leave pages that are not fully loaded within 3 seconds.
The Google Page Speed tool is great for checking the performance of your page and provide website owners to access the loading speed of their site, while it also offers some tips on how to improve it. Google also indicates that sites with responsive designs are recommended for the optimized mobile-friendliness and usability.
Mobile-first indexing is a major shift from the traditional way Google indexed pages. Indexing is basically the storing and reading of information and should your online pages and the mobile version not match, you could experience problems. No problems are expected for sites using responsive web designs since the content on the desktop and mobile version would be the same. When the mobile and desktop versions are different problems do occur, in many cases, the mobile content is less due to space and size and the missing mobile content could cause lower rankings. The reason why rankings could be lower is that Google will base its decisions in future on the shorter mobile version, which could be less valuable in Google’s estimation.
Since 1998, Google had one mission in mind and that is to organize and make information useful and accessible. While the way people use and search continuously change, Google continues to evolve and make changes to provide the expectations of internet users. More than 1,600 improvements took place in 2016, all focussed on improving the search results usefulness.
Benefits of Mobile-First Indexing to Mobile Users
The new mobile-first indexing is extremely beneficial to anyone using their mobile device instead of their desktops for searches. The visitor’s percentage via mobile devices to most sites increased from 57% to 65% and the time spend on mobile sites is already showing an increase from 40% to 49%, while the bounce rate on mobile has decreased from 52% to 47%. The mobile-first indexing by Google ensures that everyone enjoys the best possible experience and marketers need to make sure they take full advantage of the changes, by optimizing content for mobile search engines and ensuring that the content is of high quality.