Business Goals for 2018 – first part of the year, you can look back and see your achievements, your SEO efforts, your setbacks. Every small thing has made you a better person, a better professional, a better entrepreneur. This is the right time
Google’s Mobile First Index
Google’s Mobile First Index Coming Soon, but no date yet – Since November 4, 2016, when Google first officially announced the proposed new Mobile First algorithm many SEOs have been keeping a watch for signs of both testing and release of the changes in the organic SEO SERPs. The new algorithm aims to rank websites based on the mobile version of their web page rather than the desktop.
We wrote a detailed summary of the change, its implications and how you can prepare for the changes here. Mostly, you will need to ensure that all your content and structured markup are visible on the mobile version of your page.
The purpose of the new Google’s Mobile First Index is to reflect that increasing numbers of searches are made on mobile, and Google wishes to ensure that its algorithms accurately rank the content that is being served. According to Google:
This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.
When will the new Mobile First Algorithm be released?
This is the question we all want to know. Fortunately, we do have a glimpse on the timeline Google is working with, thanks to Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, who last week at the Friends of Search conference gave some insight.
How Google’s mobile first index works
Google has traditionally prioritized desktop versions of websites over mobile versions when analyzing content for ranking on results pages. However, this has proved to be problematic for the search engine as more people have been using mobile devices to access the internet. It has meant that Google hasn’t been able to provide users with their preferences when searching from phones or tablets.
Google has always maintained that its primary goal is to provide its users with a great user experience. This goal applies whether users are accessing the search engine from their laptops, PCs or smartphones.
Accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed in the past few years to overtake desktop. It is therefore no surprise that Google is turning everything upside down and prioritizing the mobile versions of websites. That is exactly what this new index is all about.
Google’s mobile first index is currently being tested and is not expected to fully roll out for another few months. However, this doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax. The introduction of the index will spell major changes in how indexing is done. It is advisable for businesses to get ready for the changes that are coming sooner rather than later.
How to prepare for Google’s mobile first index
In true Google fashion, no dates have been released on when the full roll out will occur. The only information that can be squeezed out of the search engine is that testing has begun and the full roll out will probably be in a few months. With all this information, it’s best to get your website ready as soon as possible for the changes that are coming.
The following are some steps you can take to ensure that your website will be ready once the index is rolled out.
Invest in responsive design
Is your website responsive? You are ready for Google’s Mobile First Index? Responsive design ensures that users can view and interact with your website from devices with different screen sizes.
The website adjusts depending on the size of the screen it is being viewed from. This enhances user experience for users accessing your website from different devices.
If you already have a responsive website, you’re on the right track and won’t have to make as many changes to your site. If you don’t have a responsive design, you should consider investing in one.
Optimize your website’s design for Google’s Mobile First Index
The design of your website will play a major role in how users interact with it. It also plays a role in the ranking of your website. Optimizing your website for devices such as phones and tablets is important whether it is a responsive website or separate from your desktop website.
Be sure to:
- Get rid of flash images. These can’t be viewed on devices with small screens such as smartphones. It will therefore do you no good to have them. You can use Java or HTML 5 to add those cool elements you want on your site.
- Consider how users on tablets and phones use your website and design to make interaction easier. Since many rely on their fingers to scroll and tap, ensure buttons are larger and scrolling is easier.
- You can do without pop-ups. While these are great for lead generation, they can be frustrating for users on smaller devices. Using popups will guarantee you a higher bounce rate.
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