This year, Google is rolling out its Mobile-First indexing system. What does this entail for the search industry, marketing, and web services?
According to Hitwise’s Mobile Search Report, nearly 60% of search queries are now carried out on mobiles devices such as smartphones and tablets.
In desktop searches, Google has a comfortable lead with a 63% share. However, this figure is nothing compared to the whopping 95% share it currently holds in mobile search queries.95% of #mobile #websearch is done through #GoogleClick To Tweet
To focus more on the mobile format in the evolution of its algorithms and features of its search engine, in 2016 Google announced the release of their Mobile-First Indexing.
Expected to arrive in 2018, Mobile-First will continue its gradual deployment across websites over the next few months. Sites will be gradually transferred over to this index when Google bots decide that they are ready for the transition.
We’re not here to discuss mobile SEO tactics, although EdgyLabs does have a wide range of SEO services for professionals. Instead, we will focus on the expected ramifications of the Mobile-First update on marketers, traffic, and web services.
1. Prioritizing Mobile Content
Making Google’s indexing system mobile first is a major step that will profoundly change the way Google’s search engine ranks results.
The new system will take a number of different factors into account. Some of the most important of these factors are websites being more responsive or having a dedicated mobile version identical to their desktop site. Page load time and speed will also help maintain or boost rankings.
In any case, as far as SEO is concerned, publishers have to prepare for the Mobile-First index especially as last month Google said that it’s already being rolled out on a small number of sites. In addition to this, they provided extra tips for webmasters to get their websites ready for the shift.
If you are already implementing responsive web design or your desktop and mobile sites have the same content and dynamic serving efficiently, you don’t have to worry.
2. Progressive Web Apps Will Dominate
PWAs, Progressive Web Apps, have been a rising trend in the last couple years, but with the deployment of Google Mobile-First, they’d gain even more momentum.
PWAs will be a cost-effective solution to offer a rich, reliable and engaging user experience without the need for an app store. With the Mobile-First index, there’ll be no need to maintain both an app and a mobile site.
That doesn’t mean that native apps will die soon, but as the future of the web is clearly mobile, PWAs, in addition to meeting the Google’s Mobile-First shift, would prove to be a win-win solution for users (unique user experience) and publishers (as an effective marketing tool) alike.
3. Ad-Heavy Sites With Poor Content Will be Penalized
Already, for desktop rankings, Google has been updating its algorithms (like the Phantom Update) to crack down on websites displaying excessive ads with poor content.
Now, with the focus being redirected to mobile devices, websites depending heavily on ads, intrusive pop-ups, and interstitials would see their webpages positions on SERP drop even lower.
These changes will lead to a number of drastic alterations not only to Google’s search index but also to how most websites are designed. Make sure to stay updated on these trends in order to maintain the best optimization and alterations possible to keep ahead of the market.