Recent news update from Google HQ have announced that they have ‘began experiments’ with mobile indexing to help rank webpages when it comes to ranking websites.
When’s the last time you worried about your sites content being visible on mobile? Have you ever paid attention to your sites mobile compatibility? if you haven’t then you need to think again, and make sure your site is fully responsive.
Google have announced that it is planning on relying primarily on mobile content to rank search results.
“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. “
Google released this information on November 4th on its official blog. It is a great indication on googles future updates. It hints to webmasters to make sure that there site is suitable for mobile.
Mobile indexing is inevitable as most Google searches are made from mobile phones, rather than desktop devices.
“more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”
Google interprets this data as an insight in user experience and will almost certainly uses this information for future algorithm changes.
After all any algorithm update is to help with improving user experience.
Currently, desktop content is used to rank web pages with less importance given on mobile content.
But now more than ever is it important to jump on the mobile- friendly bandwagon as mobile content is evidently becoming more important.
If your site however is not mobile compatible Google will then rely on the desktop version of your sites, but this will have a negative impact on user experience and have a knock on effect on search rankings.
If you haven’t got a mobile site there is no need to fret as they are a few things you can do today to make sure your site is mobile- friendly.
Make site fully responsive and dynamic serving.
If you have a fully responsive site, your already ahead of the game.
Not much work has to be done as content can be viewed across both mobile and desktop versions.
Structured markup across desktop and mobile has to look similar be well presented. Webmasters can make sure they markup correctly between mobile and desktop by entering the URLs of both versions into the Structured Data Testing Tool and comparing the results
If you do have to add structured data to your mobile site then be aware that adding large irrelevant markup will slow your load time and effect user experience.
Remember to make sure your site is accessible to googlebot. Use the txt testing tool for this.
Most people only get their desktop site verified and forget to make sure their mobile site is verified, so make sure you don’t forget!!!
Now, you how to have a mobile responsive site.
Speed: aim for 2 seconds load time.
Optimize images: optimize images by reducing the size.
Less code: reduce the amount of characters in from code without having a negative impact on the functionality
Leverage browser caching: the browsing cache temporarily stores resource files on a local computer when a user visits a web page
Reduce redirects: reduce redirects as this causes reloads and the overall site to be slow.
Before you had to block CSS as smartphones could not handle the data.
However, smartphones are more advanced than before and can handle anything we throw at it, so now we don’t have to waste our time blocking CSS.
The smartphone GoogleBot is more advanced than before and can crawl large amounts of data.
Focusing on code and other technical ranking factors is not the only thing you should have to worry about. The design of your mobile site has an influence on rankings and is something that needs a little more planning
Make life easier: For ease of use get a responsive site theme. You might have to buy a premium theme for this but it is well worth the money. The content on your desktop will appear the same on mobile, without you having to do much work at all, additionally this also helps your content marketing endeavors as content will be equal across all platforms.
Dump pop ups. There is nothing more annoying than pop ups appearing on your desktop. The only thing more annoying is pops up on a mobile site. They take over you whole screen and no one likes it. It will only lead to a higher bounce rate and lower rankings, especially now that Google will be giving out penalties to webmaster who incorrectly use pop-ups.
Finger friendly. Since we have to use our fingers to scroll and tap, make sure the site is easy to navigate as no one likes to accidentally tap on something they didn’t mean. Finger friendliness can also help people share your content on social media by making it easier for them. Try to make social icons bigger, to increase shares.
Help the googlebot. Keep titles and descriptions short and precise as it helps the googlebot understand what the page is about, making it easier to crawl the page and help with increasing your click-through rate
In September google released a new update to the local search algorithem called ‘possum’
So there it is, all you need to know about the future of mobile indexing and SEO. Make sure you have a mobile responsive site before Google makes it official.
Now the decision is your. Are you going to join the revolution?