What is Mobile First Indexing

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What is Mobile First Indexing

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So, what was predicted and expected over the past few years has finally happened. Following the ever-growing traffic from mobile devices, search giants are changing their search algorithms to adapt to the interests of their users. In a recent release from Google, it says that from July 1, 2018, a mechanism will be launched that ranks sites on the Mobile-first principle.

But before we find out what it is, let's look at some statistics. According to the company "SEO-Auditor" in March 2018, the shares of the 2 main search engines in Russia are distributed as follows::

  • Google – 49,04 %
  • Yandex – 46.08 %

On mobile devices, the picture is more striking (according to Liveinternet):

  • Google – 67,5 %
  • Yandex – 31.5 %

Looking at the statistics, you can see that Google has a significant market share and a significant audience share. This means that any changes in Google's algorithms will obviously affect the results of Internet search and, of course, all sites.

Now let's understand what "Mobile-first indexing" is and why it can safely be called a revolution in Internet search.

In 2016, Google announced the start of testing a new search algorithm based on the priority output of sites adapted to mobile devices in order to meet the needs of the majority of its users. If initially Google's crawling, indexing, and ranking systems prioritized desktop versions of site pages, now it will look at sites through the eyes of a mobile browser.

As Google stated: "Mobile-first indexing means that we will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking." In other words, instead of introducing a separate index of sites with layout for mobile devices, the existing one changes its priorities – the advantage in search results will be given to sites optimized for mobile devices!

But that's not all. In addition to the fact that your site must be displayed correctly on a mobile device, its content must fully correspond to the desktop version. In other words, all menu items, sections, and texts must be identical. And this means that creating a separate version of the website for mobile devices will not save the situation.

Of course, Google said that it will still index all websites and still sites with interesting context and relevant queries will have good positions in the search, but.... From July 2018, Mobile-first will be a priority.

Yes, and like a cherry on the cake – you can't take any actions to prioritize inclusion in the new index. Google says that we determine which sites to include in Mobile-first and when. We will notify you that this has happened with this message:

Once we understand the essence of the issue, we will figure out what site owners should do.

If your site exists only because it is accepted and you do not consider it as a help in business development, then do not do anything, it will not be worse.

But if your site is a marketing tool, your store, and is aimed at increasing your customer base and business, then you should take at least one action (if you haven't received a happy email from Google yet) – check your site for optimization for mobile devices. This, of course, is not true in the last instance, and Google itself says that Mobile-first works independently of mobile evaluation, but without optimization, you can definitely not expect acceptable results.

So, let's look at several sites through the" prism " of Google. For greater clarity, let's take sites from different industries – 2 from medicine and 2 from the country theme.

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Mobile first indexing is a process used by search engines to index and rank websites based on the mobile version of their content, rather than the desktop version.

The reason behind this is that the majority of internet users access the web from mobile devices and search engines want to ensure that their results are relevant to the majority of users. With mobile first indexing, search engines will primarily use the mobile version of a website's content to determine its rankings, which means that the mobile version of a website needs to be just as comprehensive and high-quality as the desktop version.

When a website is switched to mobile-first indexing, the Googlebot will primarily crawl and index the mobile version of the website's pages. The content, links, structured data, and other meta-data on the mobile version will be used to understand the relevance and importance of the pages.

Mobile-first indexing does not mean that the desktop version of a website will not be indexed, it just means that the mobile version will be used as the primary version for indexing and ranking. If a site does not have a mobile version, the desktop version will be used.

To be prepared for mobile-first indexing, it's important to ensure that the mobile version of a website is high-quality, has the same content as the desktop version and is technically optimized. Additionally, it's important to have a responsive design or a dynamic serving website, which means that the website serves different HTML to different devices based on their screen size.

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