According to May 2018 statistics, Google is the leading choice for search engines, bringing in more than three times the amount of monthly visitors than its top competitor, Bing. With 1,800,000,000 estimated monthly users, it makes sense that companies would try to target Google users with their SEO tactics. So, with Google’s new Mobile-First Index, does it change how businesses and paper writing sites like Thesis Rush attract readers to their site? All the latest news from Google indicates that there should be minimal changes to your current SEO strategies—provided those strategies involve concentrating on your mobile website.
How is the Mobile-First Index Changing SEO?
Mobile-first indexing prioritizes mobile pages in search engine rankings. In an age where technology access is in nearly everyone’s hands, it only makes sense that Google would prioritize mobile users. After all, an impressive 62% of time spent online was done through mobile devices, rather than desktop computers, in 2017.
It would seem, therefore, that sites that want to remain high in Google’s ranking list must simplify things for the mobile user. The rest of this article will cover some of the changes that you should make to help improve the number of visitors that you get on your webpage.
According to the latest reports from Google, however, switching to mobile-friendly is not expected to make significant changes in ranking. The exception is companies that have not yet optimized their website for mobile use. The key to maintaining your site’s ranking is ensuring your site expands or shrinks to display clearly on mobile devices. The buttons and menus should also be compatible with mobile use.
What You Need to Do to Keep Your Site High in the Ranking
Only time will tell if Google is still using the same algorithms and if you need to adjust SEO tactics. For the present time, that does not seem to be an issue. To maintain your site’s ranking, apply some of the following strategies to your mobile pages.
1. Desktop vs. Mobile Content
Some websites automatically have mobile versions, which are updated with the same content and design as the desktop version of the site. If you have separated these sites for some reason, then it is important to ensure the content on your company’s mobile site offers all the same information as the content provided on the desktop version. Otherwise, you may find that all the hard work you have put into creating a desktop site goes to waste.
2. Mobile Compliance
The sites that can easily be viewed on desktop and mobile applications are mobile compliant. This means they are responsive to the device the page is being viewed on and can grow or shrink accordingly. This does not include just text, but also pictures, videos, submenus, and infographics on the site.
3. Mobile-Compatible Links
When creating mobile sites, companies may skip over the inbound and authoritative links they would use on a desktop page. Since the previous ranking system defaulted to the desktop site, this wasn’t a problem. Now, without adding the links to your mobile pages, you are losing authority and the benefits of the work of adding those links.
What should you do if you aren’t sure about the mobile-friendliness of your site? Check out this link from Google, where you can input different sites to test if they are mobile friendly and have a good chance of being indexed by Google.
4. Structure the Information
If the main focus of your site is convincing readers they need to buy assignment papers or hire your company to provide certain services, you find your focus placed on making sales. The problem is that it is best SEO practices into shorter blurbs. Instead, provide as much information as you would on the desktop version of your site, but structure it well. Use paragraphs, headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists to break up information. Infographics and other images can also be displayed on mobile devices, as long as they are scaled to size.
5. Add Metadata
Something that is often overlooked on mobile websites, especially since desktop sites were primarily used for indexing before, is metadata. Metadata are titles and descriptions that the search engine crawls for clues about what your site has to offer. It is often good practice to use keywords or variations of the keywords you are using in the meta title and description.
6. Utilize Expandable Content
In a world where desktop sites are supreme, there was less emphasis on expandable content like the information found in accordions, tabs, and other expandable boxes. For mobile sites, however, expandable content will help your readers find the information they are looking for faster.
Keep in mind that most Internet users are skimmers, at least until they find a page with the information they need. Expandable content should be used to enhance the user experience. While it does not have many useful applications on desktop sites, it does make it easier to navigate and load pages on mobile devices. I recommend giving a read to my “How long should a blog post be?“.
7. Take the Positives of Your Desktop Site and Apply it to the Mobile Version
If you already make use of links, structured data, and meta descriptions and titles on your desktop version, then the transition to mobile should be a simple one. In this scenario, it is important to be sure the mobile site is as high-quality as the desktop version. As the desktop indexing system becomes obsolete, this will become increasingly important. Google will eventually stop crawling desktop pages, so it is the information provided on the mobile site that is going to matter.
FAQs About Mobile-First Indexing
If you are a website owner, it should be your goal to keep up with the up-and-coming changes to ensure that your site maintains its ranking. While following the guidelines above can help, you should also be sure you are current with the latest information. Here is some more information that you might have about the Mobile-First Indexing system being rolled out by Google.
What is Mobile-First Indexing?
Google spent about a year-and-a-half coming up with their latest mobile-first indexing algorithms, which apply heavily to mobile users. There are two basic users on Google’s search site, desktop users, and mobile users. Before, mobile users would often find themselves looking at the desktop version of a site, which was typically slower and harder to view if it was not adapted for mobile use.
How does Mobile-First Indexing work?
When you type a query into Google, it brings up a list of results that it believes will answer your question, based on keywords and the algorithms that it uses. Before, the information about a site was indexed according to the desktop version of the page. Now, to simplify things for the vast number of mobile users doing searches, pages are indexed according to their mobile version. These new strategies will help sites load faster and put mobile users in touch with the information that they are looking for, without hassle.
When will Mobile-First Indexing be implemented?
Google started switching to mobile-first indexing earlier this year. The changes are being implemented gradually to minimize the changes between mobile and desktop sites. Currently, the sites are ranked according to both mobile-usage and desktop-usage. The long-term goal is for all the sites to be ranked according to mobile indexing, though Google will still catalog the desktop version for when they are requested.
Google has not yet released a specific date for when they will be done. They are still testing some areas, to ensure that changing to mobile-friendly indexing will not upset rankings too much. The idea is that the transition will be smooth. You can do your part to keep the transition running smoothly by ensuring your site is mobile-ready.
What if I haven’t created a mobile site for my webpage?
Google has said that it will not penalize web pages for not having a mobile site. However, it will crawl over the site more slowly for results. Additionally, pages that are not mobile-optimized are not going to load as quickly. This is problematic since if people cannot get the page to load, they may go look for information elsewhere.
Even though there are no official penalties, it would still be useful to use your desktop web pages to create mobile-friendly versions that are compatible with this latest shift. The slow rates that the Google bots would crawl the site could lead to much lower rankings. Fortunately, as the implementation of this new indexing system is still moving, there is still plenty of time to make the adaptations necessary to create a mobile-friendly site.
What will happen to the desktop index for searches?
Google currently is using both indexes for searches, both mobile, and desktop. Interestingly, people will not know which index they are using when they visit the Google search engine. It should not make a significant difference in the quality of the content found, however. Eventually, Google is going to shift over completely to the mobile-friendly index and the desktop versions of sites will be cataloged, except in the case where sites do not have a mobile-friendly version.
Whether you have a website offering services like thesis assistance, sell unique products to customers, or just have a blog, staying up-to-date with the changes of Google’s Mobile-First Indexing policies will help you maintain a high ranking. You can stay current by following Google’s Web Developer site, where they publish the latest changes.