Google recently announced that it is rolling out mobile-first indexing… It’s something that the industry has been talking about for a while, but it’s finally happening! Lee, Chris & Jamie discuss what this means for businesses.
See below for the full video transcription.
Lee: So the next topic we’re going to cover is Google beginning to roll out its mobile-first index. We’ve been hearing about this for a long time. Google have been testing it for a long time. They’ve been putting more and more emphasis on mobile for a long, long time. I think it’s not really new news. It’s just that it’s actually happening now. It’s actually, like, real news. The run-up to this has probably been a little bit fake. No, it’s actually rolling out now.
So what it means is they’re going to look at a mobile view of a website and take that into stronger consideration when ranking a site. So if you haven’t already made your site mobile-friendly, made it responsive, or adhered to what they deem as a good user experience, you’ll just get penalized a lot harder than what you would’ve before.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to have two separate indexes. It’s going to be one index. So factors that you would optimize to on the desktop, will still be applicable. It just means that if you haven’t got your shit together on mobile, now’s the time.
Chris: I think they’ve been shouting about it enough over the recent months that if you’ve not got your shit together, really, it’s kind of your fault, isn’t it, really?
Lee: Well, it’s always been coming. And I can’t remember when it was, but when did the mobile traffic overtake desktop? Was it, like, 2016?
Jamie: I don’t know.
Lee: So it’s been coming a long time. I think it’s the right move. It’s where searchers’ attention is. You pull your mobile out first in most cases now. So if you’re not mobile-friendly, then it’s not ideal.
Jamie: Does this have bigger implications for mdot sites? So if you’ve got ‘m.yourdomainname.com’.
Lee: Yeah, I would say so. They’ve always said cross-platform and responsive is better than mdot. Mdot’s a bit old hat, isn’t it? It’s, sort of, a dying breed, really.
Jamie: It’s for brands that want to have a totally separate experience on mobile to desktop, isn’t it? So, I mean, if you don’t want your mobile stuff to be indexed and ranked based on that because it’s an mdot site. And let’s say you’ve trimmed half your product range that’s not relevant to mobile users, for example. Pretty rare but yeah. Say, for example, that happens. That’s going to be a problem isn’t it, I guess? You need to have the same offering that you’re giving to mobile to desktop, just visually different. You can’t have two different websites, one for mobile, one for desktop, really.
Lee: Well, you’ve just gotta have a lot more consideration, and I think that’s probably an edge case.
Jamie: Yeah, but you get people that cut info out, for example, so they might not have as much copy on the mdot site as mobile.
Lee: Yeah, I think that’s what they’re trying to avoid.
Jamie: Yeah. I do, too.
Lee: A better user experience. Everything that they do is about better user experience, isn’t it? But this, it’s a stronger nudge, basically, isn’t it, to get people to make sure that they’re actually mobile-friendly?
Jamie: Mm-hmm. I wonder if that’s going to affect the mobile-friendly Google score coming into the algorithm for rankings. Maybe it is going to have more importance.
Lee: It will be, yeah.
Jamie: You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
Lee: Yeah. Yeah, it will be.
Chris: I imagine you’ll probably see brands that are adhering to it catapult in the rankings and things like that. So I think they’re probably rubbing their hands right now, thinking, “Yeah, we’re adhering. Let’s hope for some better rankings.”