Google recently announced that search search engines will be ‘mobile first’ in the near future. Their search results will be based on the mobile versions of web pages, including the results that are shown to desktop users. 1. Why the Switch?

The majority of searches on Google are done on mobile devices. Google wants to deliver relevant results to the greater audience of searchers.

Up until now, Google has indexed web pages as desktop browsers see them. The new ‘mobile first’ approach, Google indexes web pages as mobile phones see them. The rankings are now calculated based on the mobile websites.

What to do if you do not have a mobile website?

Google says “If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.”

However, web pages that have been optimised for viewing on mobile devices get better rankings on Google Mobile than web pages that are not responsive. For that reason, you should start working on a mobile version of your website now if you do not have one. 

If you have a mobile website?

You have ensure that your mobile pages contain enough content to rank your pages. If mobile pages have less content than your desktop pages, your pages could be ranked lower with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ index.

What is the best solution?

Google recommends responsive web design. Content on responsive websites is the same on desktop computers and mobile devices. The layout changes based on the device that is used to view the content but the content is the same.

Of course, you can also create a separate website just for mobile. In general, a separate mobile site is more work and more errors can happen.

Will my rankings change a lot?

Google says that there should be minimal ranking changes around this change. Of course, most websites already have good mobile sites or responsive sites.

If you do not have a mobile website yet, your rankings might change more than the rankings of a website that already is mobile.

Pages that are not mobile-friendly will not rank as well as pages that have been optimised for mobile devices.

When you use Salisbury SEO for your montly SEO, you can see in your online report, the Google rankings, Google Mobile Rankings along with Yahoo and Bing rankings.  Many of our clients with responsive websites are already ranking higher on the Google Mobile results than the Google desktop positions.  Google are currently in test phase on this.

What happens to the links that point to my website?

If you have a responsive website, you do not have to worry about this because the URLs of your mobile pages and your desktop pages are the same (theses pages are the same, just displayed differently).

If you have a separate mobile website, the mobile pages most likely do not have as many links as the desktop versions of your pages. Google’s search results are highly dependent on links, so mobile pages with less links might get lower rankings.

Google hasn’t found a definitive solution to this problem so far. Google also said that the canonical attributes on your web pages do not have to be changed.

Google have already begun testing this mobile-first index to some users, it will still take some time before it goes live for all users.

The Top 10 Optimiser in SEO Package Store helps you to optimise your web pages for high rankings on Google Mobile or Google Desktop. The Ranking Monitor can check the rankings of your web pages in Google’s mobile search results. If you haven’t done it yet, try our services today!

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