If you have a query, ask Google!
This is so true with everyone who uses internet for one or the other thing. Our first stop is inevitably Google whether to clarify any doubt or to acquire some information or for SEO campaigns. From being one of the search engines, it has evolved into ‘the search engine’.
Google has not gained this pole position casually. It has been constantly learning, modifying and rewriting its algorithms to stay ahead of the competition and to be in control. The vital goal of each of these updates and coding enhancements is to make the search experience better for the users.
It is no surprise that people are moving from being desktop users to mobile users at a rapid pace. Google estimates that more than half of the global search activities are currently happening on mobiles devices and thus it has become a frontier with a lot of potential. As a result of this, Google is testing its Mobile First Indexing and the buzz is that it might become a standard feature in just a few months.
Mobile First Indexing in a Nutshell:
The activity essentially means that Google will be considering the mobile version of a particular website before its desktop version while ranking that business on the search engine. In India alone by 2020 there is about 600 million mobile users who would be constantly accessing information of varied kind. With the number of mobile users always on the rise, the searches that they do and the websites they visit have to be seriously considered while determining the overall popularity of a business.
In a Webmaster blog in November last year, Google said, “To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first.” In the next few months the algorithms will consider the mobile version of the website first while ranking and snippets from those pages will be prioritized to be display as search results. This in other words means your content on mobile version has to be equally good or better than the web version. The search giant says that the testing for this indexing is happening on a small scale and will continue for few months. If Google is assured that this major upgradation will improve and enhance user experience, they will incorporate it into the whole system.
In the light of this upgradation, companies can no longer be lenient about their business’ mobile version. To ensure their every SEO effort is successful and yields high ROI, they have to have a strong mobile presence as well. Based on Google’s recommendations, here are some quick tips to help you prep up for the Mobile First index.
It’s Time to Prep Up:
1. Accelerated loading time: A lot has been said about how important it is for a web page to open quickly and if not, they would lose out on potential customers and followers. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are highly recommended by Google and something that every business should have. Irrespective of the internet speed, your web page should be able to open almost instantaneously on a mobile device.
2. High quality content: The display space on a smartphone is lesser than a PC and thus it will not display all your content. For this reason, it becomes all the more important to write crisp, structured and to the point content for your mobile version. The content on both platforms should be similar to provide the same information to users.
3. It’s all about user experience: One of the most important factors most SEO and Digital Marketing experts stress on is a responsive design. There is no alternative to a web design that is interactive, appealing and refreshing. One might go overboard with their colours, popups, flash elements etc on the mobile version and thus completely miss out on providing a pleasant user experience.
4. Google’s tips: Google as always has laid out some simple tips that can make huge difference in this indexing. The pioneer puts it in simple words that ‘If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site’, just sit back and enjoy. Structured Data testing tools and Robot.txt testing tool should be used to check the quality of the website on both platforms. In the Google Search Console it is mandatory to verify your mobile version along with web module.
5. Do not panic: It is but natural that businesses which don’t have a mobile version would become panicky and start to push hard to set up a mobile page. Google and marketing experts wisely say ‘don’t panic’. If you do not have a mobile version for your business, it would be sensible to go easy on it. In its absence, Google will continue to rank you on the basis of your web presence alone. Instead of doing a shabby job on the mobile, channel all your resources and brains towards making your desktop version second to none.
This change in indexing is going be a landmark one and time will reveal how it would enhance user experience for the next generation.
Stories by Suma Gouder