In 2018, Google's search index moved to a mobile-first approach. This means all search results, regardless of the device you're using, will be shaped by how well the mobile version of the website is performing.
See our long form guide on why it’s more important than ever to consider your mobile website as part of your marketing strategy by reading our eBook ‘Mobile First for SEO’.
Why is Google updating their search index?
As more people are accessing sites using mobile devices, Google has called for a reversal of historic rankings; this is something that Google has been working towards for a long time. The update will provide more accurate search results and better content to users of all devices, as content delivered on a mobile can be significantly lacking when compared to desktop.
The need for mobile-first has been called upon because there are parts of the developing world where mobile is far and away the easiest method for people to access the internet. This update provides an even playing field, which is essential for economic competition on a global scale.
What effect will this have?
Google is planning to roll out the update this year, which means it’s important to invest in improving your mobile website now before you risk losing out on traffic. If your website doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, you’ll quickly lose visibility, even if your site is full of great content.
Mobile optimisation will prevent users from getting frustrated by visiting pages that display small text, tiny scrolling to links and sideways view content.
Simple practices can all help towards maintaining and improving search ranking, such as:
- Ensuring your website is responsive, for equal experience across devices.
- Implementing a good content hierarchy, to focus attention where it’s most relevant.
- Decreasing load speed, for increasingly impatient users!
- Using new mobile-friendly technologies like AMP, to boost visibility.
- Formatting your content, for easy-to-read, easy-to-click text.
Major updates, like Google’s mobile-first focus, can also be a good time to conduct some SEO housekeeping, to put you in a better position generally and to increase your organic visibility.
To learn more about Google’s update, the AMP project, and some useful tips and tools for optimising your own site, read our eBook ‘Mobile First for SEO’.