Hopefully by now everyone knows that having a mobile friendly version of a site is critical for mobile-based searches, though now Google are taking things even further. Earlier this year, Google started rolling out a fundamental change in how they ‘index’ websites and it’s something website owners should be aware of and understand. Essentially Google is transitioning the way they index websites to start primarily looking at the mobile version of the site rather than the desktop version, which has been their standard since they began indexing pages. If you’re not familiar with the term “indexing pages”, it might be worth reading up on how Google searches work, but the short version is Google look at pages that exist on the internet, stores content in their ‘index’ and then uses the index they have built up to decide which pages are relevant when someone does a search. So what gets stored in their index is a critical part of how pages are ranked in a search results page.
This change isn’t surprising as mobile web traffic continues to increase (and has started to outperform desktop traffic) – it was only a matter of time before Google responded to this reality. But as with many of Google’s announcements, it could mean your site’s rankings change drastically depending on your current setup. Because this shift means Google are now looking at mobile sites first, having a strong mobile strategy is clearly important and this is the main takeaway for most website owners: have a mobile-first marketing strategy for your website.
If your website isn’t mobile version at all, then that’s a huge problem for the reasons already touched on in this post. The impact is that your site will not only miss out on mobile searches, but now the rankings will start to drop all around. The vast majority of our clients already know this because Xynergy has been recommending responsive design for years and have ensured all our clients have a mobile friendly site. Now however, the additional challenge comes to start thinking of mobile users first and change your marketing strategy accordingly. If that’s something you need help with, let us know and we can help.