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Jul 27, 2020   |   by Niddhi Bhangdia   |    Social media , Digital Marketing

What does Mobile-First Indexing mean?

Mobile First Indexing

Is your website mobile friendly? If not, then hurry up! Google has something up on their sleeves. If you are a techie and are into websites, you must have probably heard of the word Mobile indexing. These are the latest development efforts undertaken by Google to increase mobile usage and make it more user friendly. However, very few people know about this upcoming rising trend and if you are one of them then check out this blog to know what exactly that means.

What is Mobile Indexing?

Mobile Indexing in simple terms means a responsive (Mobile) version of your website that Google is going to crawl and rank it according to the rich content posted on your website. A mobile indexed site can be helpful in bringing the website traffic. For instance, if any particular website does not have a responsive version then the desktop site can still be included in the indexing. But the lack of a mobile-friendly version can negatively impact the ranking of the site since the users won't be able to see your website properly on their mobile phones. Although a site with better mobile experience can receive a great ranking boost even for desktop users. 

Here are some FAQ's answered to get into more details about mobile indexing.

Search Engine Index

1. What does switching to mobile-first indexing mean?
Mobile-first indexing in exact terms is simply how Google crawls the mobile version of any website and indexes the page. Google crawls the mobile version of the page instead of looking at the desktop version. Since the past decade, the searches on the mobile have increased drastically and hence it is necessary to give priority to mobile indexing.


2. What is Search Engine Index?
Search Engine Indexing is a process through which information can be kept organized on the search engine so when any user enters the query the response can be provided faster. That's the reason why Google shows up the results when you put up your queries in the search tab. Google is wise enough to store a collection of different pages, websites, and documents that are discovered while crawling through different pages, weblinks, and assigns a priority to every page and web links according to the content relevancy. When a query is issued it shows up the relevant information in seconds.


3. What if you do not have a mobile site?
You need not worry at all. Google will crawl your desktop version. However, it makes sense to use a mobile-friendly version of your website since it is the need of the hour. It will be easier for your audience to view on their phone and you can generate traffic to your site by switching to a mobile-friendly version.

4. How posting less content on mobile-site can affect the indexing?
If your mobile site has less content than the desktop one the indexing will be affected to some extent. That is because Google will crawl the rich content first and then move on to the next content. So it makes sense to make a responsive website, which will have equal content so that they can generate an equal level of traffic.

5. Will changing to mobile version affect the overall rankings?
Well, there might not be a huge change in the rankings, but this is only over a matter of time that might happen and soon mobile will start taking a big jump in the overall ranking patterns.

6. How can you be sure that Google has seen your mobile pages?
Google uses a tool called Fetch and the Render. You can check if your mobile page has been indexed or not using that tool. With the help of the tool, you can check how Google is scanning your website and exactly what is crawling on the desktop version.

7. The canonicals: Do you need to change them?
According to Google, canonicals need not be changed and they can be listed as it is on their blog post. The mobile indexing initiative has not been something that has been launched now. It was only in the last year, that Google began to expand its plans for a rollout and then made way for the Google bolt for the indexing plans. So this is high time now to begin the mobile SEO now.

Below we give you some basic tips on the mobile version of building your website-

1. A mobile-friendly test-
It is extremely essential to have a mobile-friendly test and you need to see that each page should be tested separately to give authenticity. Testing all the pages will help you get a clear idea and make you realize where your SEO factor lies.

Mobile Friendly Site

2. Check Google search console-

Have you been wondering how you can do that? You can do it by going out to the dashboard, into dashboard Search traffic, and then Mobile Usability. All the relevant searches on the website will pop up and your SEO score will be calculated as well. You will see a graph on your mobile usability index and then find a detailed report of the results. There you can address several issues such as-

  • 1. Check if the viewport is set or not
  • 2. Check if there are too many clickable elements
  • 3. Check if the content is wider than the screen
  • 4. Check if the text is small

You need to rectify these problems first when you decide to make a mobile SEO friendly website.


3. Optimize your site speed-
The most important factor for a good SEO score is your website should load very quickly. Google AMP(Accelerated Mobile Pages) is the future of your mobile website. You can run a page speed test to see how much your page is taking time to load. A user will switch to another page if the website doesn't load quickly. Maintaining a good speed is an extremely essential part of SEO.

4.4. Optimize for the keywords-

A user's Mobile search can be different when compared to the desktop search. So the optimization should also be done accordingly. You can optimize those keywords which are frequently searched on mobile and then turn it into voice search. You can optimize your keywords for different platforms. For that, you need to set the placements of the keywords of mobile or desktop as per the search history.

Optimize for Keywords

Why you should start acting?

Well, If you launch a new website and that does not work well on any mobile's screen, then you may have issues while indexing and impact on ranking your website on Google. So, make sure to test your site and take all the necessary steps to build it in a mobile-first manner.