Mobile first indexing is one of the latest developments of Google and it has created a lot of buzz across the globe. The objective of launching this program is to offer a mobile-friendly platform for the web. In addition, by the virtue of this program, it will be easier to track the trend of user behavior. But, there is a lot of ambiguity too. What would be the future benefit of this program? Whether it would be able to benefit a user, for example, a business owner? What would be the necessary changes and impact on a site which is already compatible with the mobile version? In this article, I am going to discuss the basic idea of mobile first indexing and the implementation of the same. I will also shed a light upon the impact of this program on SEO as well.
A basic idea of the mobile-first indexing
If you spell the word mobile first indexing, you will get a fair idea about the same. It is nothing but the mobile version of a website. It also becomes the starting point of google indexing. It is considered as the basic parameter, based upon which the ranking of the site is determined. If you observe the crawl bot traffic in a website, you will be able to track the increase in traffic via smartphone Googlebot. It is to be noted that the cached version of the pages is nothing but the mobile version. This program can also track the desktop site as well and calculate the ranking of the site. It is not like ‘mobile only’ indexing. By observing the name only, you can generate a clear idea about this program. Well, if a website is only having a desktop version, then there may arise a negative impact on its ranking. Whereas, availability of a mobile version of any website, will boost the ranking of that website irrespective of its place of searching.
Impact of the mobile-first indexing
By observing the phrase ‘mobile first’, you can understand the fact that the primary version of the website is the ‘mobile version’. Moreover, if you are having a mobile version which is similar to your desktop version, then changes in content optimization for mobile or implementation of responsive design will not create a major impact on the performance of your site in the search results. It also brings a fundamental change in Google’s understanding when it comes to website content & prioritization of crawling & indexing. In general, the primary version of any website is the desktop version, whereas, the mobile version is considered as the alternative version. But, when ‘mobile first indexing’ is applied, the mobile version becomes the primary version.
Moreover, switchboard tags are also important and in order to implement the switchboard tags, Google has equipped the webmaster with a unique mobile site. The objective of Google is to enhance the visibility of mobile URL to mobile users. Before the implementation of mobile first indexing, the desktop version used to be the primary version of the website. In fact, it was considered as a factor of top priority by the SEO specialists and they also defined it as the reliable & comprehensive version. It was also enriched by full content, structure data, Hreflang, and backlinks. Whereas, the mobile version had little content. Moreover, it did not have the same kind of data structure and markup. Backlinks were not provided in the mobile version as well.
Benefits of the mobile-first indexing
Now, when you are implementing ‘mobile first indexing’, there is nothing to worry about. It is still in its early stages and Google has selected various websites upon which this change can be implemented with little impact. Google has recommended that if your website is having an equal response to both the desktop and mobile version, you don’t have to implement any different strategy. Moreover, for a better experience, it is expected that the page speed in mobile should be on a higher side leading to a reduction in loading time. The images should also be optimized in a perfect manner so that the visibility of the website creates a stunning impression. Furthermore, collapsed content will also get equal treatment like visible content when it comes to the implementation of mobile first indexing.
I am sharing you a list of elements that require attention if you are having a mobile version of the site.
The content of the mobile version should be in conformity with the desktop version. Proper videos and images must be incorporated. The quality of the content should be high. Moreover, it is advised to such formats which can be crawled as well as indexed by Google.
The structured data markup of the mobile version should confirm with the desktop version.
It should be the same in both desktop & mobile versions.
The Hreflang of the mobile URL should redirect the user to the mobile version of your locality.
Sitemaps & XML
You should ensure the accessibility of the links of sitemaps & XML from the mobile version of your site.
For effective results, it is advised to verify the search console of the mobile version of the site.