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Preparing After Google’s Mobile-First Index

With searches on various mobile devices growing higher and higher every year, business organizations have started to target mobile users to sell their products. This shift of the audience base from desktop to mobile searches has brought a great change. Earlier Google web indexing was totally based on desktop searches and it was considered to be the prime source of traffic. But with the increased usage of mobile, the entire scenario has changed and nowadays people find it more comfortable to search, shop and browse on their smartphones and tablets.

Mobile First Index

Google’s desktop indexing has been there since the beginning, but with the popularity of mobile, it has rolled out the so called mobile first index. This will of course change the way your site gets ranked in the SERPs.

Understanding mobile-first index:

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If you have a website, you must be probably aware that Google crawls the site to add pages to its index. The search engine uses a bot to surf your site and check your site as a mobile user. Since Google uses various ranking signals to determine whether your site should be listed in the SERP, it is very important to optimize the site for the mobile users. In brief, it can be said that while doing SEO for your site, you now have to optimize it for the mobile audience also.

What are the changes with Mobile-first search index?

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Since the majority of searches nowadays are based on mobile devices, Google has decided to use the mobile version of a website as a primary search engine index. Earlier the ranking of the site was based from a desktop browser point of view now the priority has changed from desktop to mobile browsers. With this approach, Google indexes the web pages as it is viewed on the mobile devices and the rankings are also set based on how user-friendly and relevant the web pages are to the mobile users. The ranking algorithm of Google will work in a different manner from now onwards.

Why is Google adopting this approach?

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Mobile pages are usually the ultimate preference for most users who search on Google. And they want relevant and informative content on the pages. Google acknowledges that it is important to improve the experience of the users when they are on mobile. The search engine is attempting to offer valuable content of relevant websites on your mobile, based on the search keywords. This of course means that from now on businesses will have to pay great attention to the functionality of their desktop as well as their mobile pages and optimize them accordingly. The indexing will be based on the meaning of the snippets, structured data and the content displayed on the pages.

How can you optimize your website for Mobile first indexing?

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  • Conduct a mobile friendly test: If you want your site to be indexed by Google, then you should follow the mobile friendly guidelines of Google. This can be done by checking your site with a Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
  • Update content for mobile users: If you are maintaining two different sites for mobile and desktop, then verify the content published on both the sites. If they have different content, then it may lead to a loss of traffic. So, make a plan to migrate content without losing the value.
  • Create AMP now: If you don’t have a mobile site yet, then create AMP pages so that your site can easily get indexed on Google even without having a mobile version of your site.
  • Verify if your mobile pages are indexed: After creating your mobile pages, continue to check whether they are indexed on Google or not. Creating a mobile sitemap often helps Google crawlers to identify the pages easily.
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