Since the proliferation of the smartphone, customers are searching on mobile more and more, rather than using their less accessible desktop browser. Because of this, Google has adjusted its primary search engine index to represent what their users are doing, and are crawling the web from a mobile browser view. This means for you, Google is going to start to rank your site based on content that users can view on your mobile site – this doesn’t mean that your desktop content will stop ranking, however, Google will just look at your mobile content first.
If your site has a responsive design (which Google strongly recommends), and you can switch from desktop to mobile and see no impact, Google will see the same thing and the change will not detrimentally affect your SEO ranking. However, if a site is not responsive and the content on the desktop experience is not synonymous with the mobile experience, the site may see a negative impact. If your site is not responsive, we would suggest making sure your key content can be viewed on your mobile site both for users to read and for keyword signals that search engines can pick up.
Initially, the mobile-first index was going to be rolled out and the end of 2017, however now Google’s engineers are saying it's looking like the beginning of 2018. They’ve also repeatedly stated they want to be ‘proactive’ with talking and commuting to everyone about the changes, when they are happening and how they are happening.
As we are coming up to the end of 2017, keep your ears peeled and start preparing your website!
Or, if you wanted a consult on how to make your site more search engine friendly, contact our development or SEO teams who’d be happy to help.
By Maddi Sheppard, Search Marketing Consultant
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