The search giant Google’s recent announcement of its transition to mobile-first indexing shows the impact of the mobile revolution. Everyone reading this owns a cell phone and utilises it for the search and many more. With the passage of each year, the numbers of cell phone users have overshadowed the desktop ones. But the important question is- “Whether it is going to affect the rankings and the referrals?”
…..and what it was till 2018?
The crawling, indexing, and ranking of the websites mainly used the desktop version of the content of web page. It is expected that this might cause severe trouble for the searches associated with mobile especially when there is a vast difference in the versions. Mobile-first indexing refers to the use of the mobile version of the web page for indexing and ranking.
The previous announcement from the search giant regarding the change in its “algorithm” of being mobile friendly, caused turbulence amongst the hosting clients. The concerned professionals were in doubt regarding what mobile-first indexing is going to be and its effect on indexing and ranking.
What’s the Fact?
Misconceptions aside, this is going to have no impact on the overall ranking of most of the websites. In fact, Google is ascertaining that the changes are kept minimal. However, improper mobile indexing is always going to hurt the ranking.
What are the ‘In Changes’?
The changes are dependent on the type of website you have.
The following are some of the specifications that need to be properly maintained if you really want that the ranking of the website is not hurt–
- Presence of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)
Each site has its URL. For a website, that has both the mobile and desktop version, the desktop URL has an equivalent but different URL that works for the mobile-optimised content. Such sites are called as ‘m-dot sites’.
As far as the indexing and searching are concerned from the search engine’s point of view, Google prefers those sites that have a mobile URL for indexing.
Following are the best practices that are always going to have a positive impact on the overall ranking of the website.
- Presence of the same content in mobile as well as the desktop version
- Structuring the data on both the versions
- Presence of Metadata on both the versions
- Verification of both the URLs in Search Console
- Proper functioning of robots.txt directives
- Ensuring the presence of correct link elements between both the version
- Implementing Dynamic Serving
Content optimisation is one of those essential criteria that every site developer should take into consideration. One aspect to keep in mind is search giants like Google always prefer the content that is mobile optimised for its indexing. Ascertaining that the website serves different content based on the device of the user is the right approach. The following things should be kept into consideration–
- Content should never differ in any of the version
- Both the versions of the website must contain a well-structured data
- The meta-title and description should be equivalent across both the version
- Presence of Proper non-AMP & AMP version of pages
Keep in mind- Google will love to index those mobile versions of the websites that have non-AMP URL (non- Accelerated Mobile Pages). There are certain things to follow when you have a non-AMP dynamic version or separate URLs.
What are the Changes Thereafter?
Are these changes going to affect the website?
Yes! Only when your website is desktop optimised. A responsive website ensures a better user experience (UX) irrespective of the device on which it is operated. Therefore, it is important to stress on the proper layout of the site based on the screen size where the page is to be loaded.
According to the experts, the ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) is going to be affected negatively if there are different content for the mobile and desktop versions. In addition to it, if the mobile version is worst than the desktop version from an SEO point of view, then be ready to face the negative consequences.
What to Do Now?
In this mobile world, it is necessary to have a website that stands in accordance with the specifications of the search engine. Professional help from Business Promoting Online is always going to assist in the process. Therefore, to be a part of the ever-changing trend of mobile-first indexing, contact us now.