mobile first

Google is rolling out a “mobile-first” version of its search engine ranking index algorithms.


What does Google’s Mobile First Mean to Internet Visibility?

Google traditionally viewed web pages through the eyes of a desktop user, and looked at mobile pages (mobile websites) as secondary to those desktop pages. With this “mobile-first” initiative Google is treating the mobile versions as the primary page to index, with desktop versions being secondary.

In November of 2016, Google announced their mobile-first index initiative. It is expected to be completely implemented in 2018. This means that all websites should be made “responsive” or “mobile friendly” and the mobile versions will be the focus of Googe’s indexing. This should have minimal impact for those who comply, but will dramatically impact those that a) don’t have a responsive website or b) have two completely different websites (i.e. a desktop version and a mobile version).

A Brief on what lead up to this Mobile First decision.

In the past Google would “index” pages of a website and connect it to keywords – so when someone searches for a keyword, they know which web pages to display.

When smartphone and tablets started becoming popular, they would simply display a shrunken version of the website. People hated having to use two fingers to enlarge the site and slide up and down to view everything.

Companies quickly started sprouting up to address this issue and creating mobile websites. Some were free, some were quite expensive, they seemed to solve the problem. However, any SEO specialist will tell you that duplicate content is detrimental to your search engine optimization strategy – and all of these mobile websites had duplicate data. Another problem … every time a business owner wanted to update their website they had to update 2 different websites.

With this new initiative, the formulas that Google uses to display search results for various queries . Up until recently, Google primarily viewed web pages through the eyes of a desktop user, treating mobile pages as important, but secondary to those desktop pages. Now, Google is treating the mobile versions of each page as the primary page to index, with desktop versions being secondary.

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This post was first released in February of 2017. In March of 2018 Google announced that they were officially starting – you can read their blog post announcement on Rolling out mobile-first indexing” on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.  Throughout the summer of 2018 we’ve seen our client website begin to go through this process.

initial publication 2/21/2017
update/re-publish 7/13/2018