Google is changing the SEO game again, and this time it’s all about the mobile experience. The new mobile-first index being launched by Google requires your website to be more than merely “mobile-friendly.” Here’s a rundown of what’s happening, with tips from Entrepreneur magazine!
In the past, Google acted like a desktop user when it indexed your website. Now Google will crawl your site as a mobile user.
This means that if your website has a different display for a desktop visitor than it does a mobile visitor, it’s the mobile version that’s going to count most in your search engine rankings.
If there are disconnects between your site’s desktop version and the mobile version – for example, if the links on your desktop version do not render correctly for mobile visitors - it could reduce your SEO.
The good news: the desktop version of your website will still be indexed by Google. It won’t fall off the map. But to stay competitive, and for your website to stay relevant to today’s visitors, a mobile-responsive website is a must.
More good news: Google’s mobile-first index will give expandable content, also known as “hidden content” the same weight as content that is fully displayed. Put another way, if you post a blog introduction paragraph with a “click here to read more” link, Google will count all the content behind that link. This allows you to economize how wordy your webpage appears at first glance, without losing search engine relevance.
If you’re not sure where your website stands when it comes to the mobile visitor experience, you can use the “Fetch as Google” console at support.google.com. This enables you to crawl your site as a Googlebot. You can get more tips from SearchEngineLand.com.
Note: Google is still in the rollout phase of the mobile-first indexing, a process which could take several months. But with mobile use dominating the Internet, it’s wise to offer a seamless mobile experience to your visitors!
Please remember that all of Google’s other indexing algorithms remain intact. The quality of your content, the frequency of content (fresh content is seen as more relevant), page loading speed, keywords, descriptive image tags, back links and a bazillion other things still count!
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Copywriting & Marketing Specialist