With most internet users today performing searches using mobile devices, mobile search index ranking will become mobile-first. Google announced this week they’ve begun experiments to make their index mobile-first, this will make search results more useful to users on mobile devices. They announced their search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps. Their algorithms will eventually use the mobile version of a websites content to rank pages and understand structured data showing snippets from those pages in results.
Currently the ranking system looks at the desktop version of content when evaluating search relevance. But this creates issues problems when the mobile version of a page has less content than the desktop version because the algorithms are not evaluating the actual page the mobile user is viewing.
Google understands this is an important shift in indexing and are taking it very seriously. They’ll continue to experiment over the coming months and when they’re confident they have a great user experience they’ll ramp up the change.
As we move towards a more mobile search index first, ranking focused algorithms here are some recommendations to help prepare webmasters towards the move;
If your website is a responsive or dynamic serving site and your primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop? You wouldn’t need to change anything.
If you have a site configuration where primary content and markup are different across mobile and desktop? Then consider making changes to your site. Serve structured markup for both mobile and desktop versions.
Webmasters that don’t have a mobile site will still have their desktop site indexed even if Google is using a mobile user agent to view the site.
Keep in mind it’s better to have afunctional desktop site than a broken or incomplete mobile version. If you’re building a mobile version only launch it on completion. Mobile-First Indexing