Mobile-First Indexing Launches July 2018 Are You Ready?
Google announced last week that it is beginning to roll out it’s “Mobile First Indexing” protocol. Mobile first indexing refers to using the mobile version of a given page to be used for ranking on Google. Where previously it was the desktop version of the page being used to rank.
Google has stated that since 2015, there has been a significant shift in mobile search vs traditional desktop search. The change is a result of helping mobile users better find what they are looking for. The move is a logical step forward, as mobile-friendliness has been a technical SEO factor for how sites are currently ranked.
Currently, we are in pre-launch so far. Only a subset of users has been targeted. Known candidates can find a message in their search console from Google. Mobile first indexing is set to launch into full gear July 2018.
What Can You Do To Prepare?
Although Google has mentioned, that desktop content will continue having representation in the index, they follow with “content that is slow-loading may perform less well..” This means that as crawlers search your site viewing the mobile version first, it judges that speed as the ranking indicator. There are five things you can do to prepare for the mobile first indexing this July.
1. Check to See if You Pass Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
If your page is a success, go ahead and submit it to Google.
This is a basic test just to see if Google deems your website to be mobile friendly. It is the first step because if right off the bat your site is not mobile ready, it is best to start making it so. Before completing the other tests. You can conduct the test at Google Mobile-Friendly Test website.
2. Use Google Page Speed Insights For Mobile Performance
(Don’t fret over getting 100/100! Most things are not under your control when using a hosting service)
Google PageSpeed Insights creates a report on mobile and desktop performance. As well, it provides suggestions on improvements that can be made on how to improve your page. You can test your website performance at the Google PageSpeed Insights page.
3. See How Googlebot Sees Your Mobile Page
How users look at your page can be entirely different than how Googlebot sees it. In your search console, you can “fetch as google” which forces a preview of how your site will look. It should come to no surprise that you want both to look the same. You can run into issues if something appears broken or misread as it can hurt that pages index position.
4. Check To How Fast Your Mobile Site is Using 3G Mobile Data
Most users won’t have constant access to a high-speed WiFi network, so its essential to check how fast your website loads on a slower connection. You can check to see your website speed of 3G Data at Google’s Test Your Mobile Speed website.
5. Follow Google Developers Best Practice Page
Follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing through Google Developers page. Items on this list may be challenging to do for business owners, but checking to see if you meet a few of these will go a long way in making the best of the July 2018 changes.
Some of these best practices include:
Ensuring that your current servers can handle the increased crawl rate of your mobile site
Verify the robots.txt of your website is not blocking anything substantial on the mobile version of your site
Make sure that Metadata is present on both versions of your website
Ready To Crush The Competition?
Following these five steps is a great way to get ahead of your competition before the significant update rules out later on this year. How does your website fair? Are you prepared for mobile-first indexing?
Digital Exhale can help your businesses website get prepared for the Google search update, so you can dominate the rankings and provide a better experience to your customers. Contact us today.