The past few years were really one of a nightmare for most of the businesses because Google has been working on constantly improvizing customer experience. And, with each of the update being rolled out it is the site owner and the webmaster who suffers.
So, what is it that Google has been working upon to ensure that we are happy with our experience over the web?
The search engine emphasizes – role of mobile responsiveness in the ranking of your websites online, which is not an unknown fact.
In December 2016, a number of speculations arouse and most of them were directed towards the scenario where in your search engine rankings will be affected by mobile responsiveness.
Another important thing that has been doing rounds in the world of search engine rankings is mobile first index.
So, what exactly is this mobile first index? This is one of the questions that have been lingering in my mind just like you and the others for quite some time now. All those who have been keeping a close eye on Google and the changes that it has been coming up with in the recent times know very well that something is cooking and – mobile-first index is here.
My curiosity to know more about the recent update actually landed me to get my hands over some vital information that I am very sure most of you are unaware of.
Now, let me do the honors of introducing you to what exactly this mobile-first index revolves around and take you through all the relatively important things that you cannot miss out.
Let us end all speculations and come to the point
As the term “mobile-first index” suggests, it has a lot to do with indexing, which means there will be changes in the way Google indexes content.
Everything is changing. And, let us equip ourselves to embrace the change that is dawning. Soon, Google will take into account whether your mobile site complies with the search engine ranking norms and on the basis of this, you’ll observe your desktop site’s ranking being affected.
Now, the question is how has been Google indexing your site until recently?
We can simply put it as – Google analyzing the desktop version of your site – and using this information to rank your mobile site.
Looks like Google is bored with the same old routine and wishes to bring about a change to its indexing methodologies. Be ready!
If you ask me what could be the reason behind Google’s this decision then, I can give you a few theories on the basis of my reading inferences so far:
Trends are changing with mobile devices being modified and altered every few months. People are very much in love with these trendy devices and technology that makes life easier and beautiful. So, my point is that if you have observed Google’s vision is: to ensure a great user experience, and there has been constant updates and modifications in the existing systems along with new ones replacing the old ones to ensure that people are happy and enjoying the experience.
Since, mobile devices are now the people’s preferred choice for browsing and all that they’re interested over the web – how could Google refrain itself from ensuring that the customers attain 100% satisfaction?
Whatever; all Google wants is to make sure that you enjoy the best experience across any of the devices that you are using. Many a time, webmasters ignore the importance of ensuring that their site is equally flexible across the mobile devices as much as it is while being accessed via desktops. And, customers end up being annoyed with a meek performance.
So, just to be sure that you are providing your users with an out-of-the-world experience Google has come up with the mobile-first index, which will pave way to the customers sharing an extraordinarily entrancing experience across all the devices.
There are those websites that perform on a below average scale when being accessed over mobile devices, but then this could be one among the reasons why they do not return to the site again.
No fooling around! Google will make sure that people have a better experience while using mobile devices which is their primary means of searching these days. You’ll now have to ensure that your mobile site offers an experience equally similar to the desktop experience.
Often, the variation in the website accessibility experience over mobile and desktop happens when the URL’s used in both the cases differs or in scenarios where dynamic serving is being implemented.
Now the next question is how do you ensure your site is ready for the mobile-first index?
I will tell you how:
Here, are a few things that you can examine to find out whether you are ready for the transition that Google will soon impose:
Content is always the king and rules the online world.
First of all you can start by comparing the content on both the devices. Are you sure that the content on your mobile site is in the same form that it appears across the desktop version of your site?
Or are there any visible differences?
These differences are something that you need to sort out because we cannot ensure the device over which our customers would view the website. It could be anything, like, for example, if they are using the desktop once, do not expect them to repeat accessing your site over the desktop the next time. They might use their Smartphone the next time.
And, what are you going to do to ensure that they experience the same course of transition across both the devices that they are using?
Because, when the transition becomes inflexible users feel annoyed and quit visiting your site again. You might be hatching up a lot of ideas to get this transition smoothly across all the devices. Some of you might think of updating or removing content on your site so that it fits equally well across all the devices.
All you want is the same content to appear across all the devices that are being used to access your website. The content that you have put up on your desktop should appear across your mobile site without many variations. You’re a genius if you can get this done!!!
You can experiment a lot of things. For example, if you own an E-commerce website and you have a lot of content to be added up as a description for your brand and for the product items then, you could cut it short or use a “read more” button which would take your people to the further details of these products.
Or the best thing you could do is to put all the important things up “above the fold.”
Also, make sure that your titles and headings (H1s) are not messed up. Position them in the right place!
We are more into removing all those prearranged data and stuffing all that will fit well into the mobile devices. But, while we do so we forget to ensure that whether the data being entered into the mobile site and website are the same.
The sad part is that if you have any of those prearranged data, then, possibly you will have to move all this to the mobile site as Google has plans to focus on structured data instead. You can now find out whether the prearranged data across all the devices is same by implementing Google’s tool for testing structured data.
If you have never tried this or have never thought of opting to use the same prearranged data on both the devices then, it is high time that you start doing it because Google will be soon changing its strategies and you will be at loss if you are not ready to oblige to the revolutionary change.
Sites that are into opting dynamic serving or otherwise separate URLs are at the risk of exhibiting internal linking on their mobile sites that is extremely different from the ones on their desktop sites. If you observe this is one major issue that users are experiencing while they try to access these sites for the content on the desktop version; if they decide that it is better to read the info via desktops rather than mobile device as it can hurt their eyes.
Google faces almost similar issues when it is looking for information across the mobile sites. But, if the internal links or information that you have provided across your mobile site does not comply with the information on the desktop version, you are playing it wrong.
Trespassers will have to face the consequences!
This kind of no-replication will result in an unjustified internal linking quantification to be spread across the site ultimately resulting in your site to lose its visibility over the top of the search engines.
Over the time, you will witness and experience a real drop in the site’s rankings.
The most important factor that you need to take into account in order to ensure that your site is compatible with Google’s mobile-first index strategy is its speed. Every time webmasters are being notified to ensure their web pages take minimal time to load.
I remember to have mentioned the same across many of the articles that I have been contributing to Acodez blogs myself. It was just a reminder to help you prepare yourself for the surprise that is soon going to hit the online world.
So, this forms the most critical criterion of ranking pages and unless, your page has a good speed you will never reach anywhere. Why don’t you try working on improvising the speed factor of your web pages?
If you are unsure about whether your site’s page speed meets Google’s strategies you can always make use of some of the online tools that are available including the Page Speed Insights Tools or GTmetrix.
Also, keep in mind if your site’s loading speed is anything greater or equal to 5 seconds, then, you have already lost a great deal of visitors and you have to work on fixing the issues that is slowing down your site. The GTmetrix tool has the Waterfall feature which could be used for analyzing the factors that might be causing your site to load slower.
So, now you know what are those issues that you need to get fixed on your site at the earliest so that it is ready to face Google’s latest demands once it launches the mobile-first index thing.
The next question is when is this change going to happen?
Probably, I am not the right person to make a statement or declaration about this unless Google releases an official statement regarding the same.
From my inferences across the online expert views and recommendations it could be assumed that the update will soon roll out and it is being tested.
Though, Google might say that the update would be released within a few months from now, we need to be ready to adapt our sites to the change that will soon happen.
If you are not going to be ready then, your site and business is going to suffer as sites that are not compatible with the mobile-first index will be dropped from the search engine result pages and no one will know that you exist.
Why do you want to take a risk? Not when the experts are here to help you!
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