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Mobile First Indexing POV


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A recent study showed that almost 60% of all search queries in 2016 were done on a mobile device. In light of stats like this, Google has announced that it will be switching from a desktop-first index to a mobile-first index in the near future.

To find out what this could mean for your website and what steps you should take to prepare, read DBE’s latest POV on mobile-first indexing here.

If you have questions or want to talk about getting help to ensure your site is mobile-friendly please reach out to us!

Published in: Mobile
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Mobile First Indexing POV

  1. 1. 5.2.17 Mobile-First Indexing POV
  2. 2. It’s a Mobile-First World • More people are using mobile devices than desktops, and they’re spending way more time on them. Source: around-world-5-charts/ Source: analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
  3. 3. Search is Mobile-First, Too • A 2016 report from Hitwise estimates that US mobile search is almost 60% of all search queries.
  4. 4. Addressing the Mobile Need • Google’s main focus is user experience: delivering the most relevant, useful results possible. • Because mobile is now the dominant device, Google is switching from a desktop-first index to a mobile-first index to deliver better results:  Google will use a business’ mobile site as the primary site in its index and base the ranking on that mobile site.
  5. 5. So, what does mobile-first indexing mean?
  6. 6. How it Works Today • Now, Google has one index that is based on desktop sites.  The “index” is the place where Google has stored all of the sites it has crawled. • When someone performs a search, whether from a mobile device or desktop, Google uses the desktop index to find relevant results, rank them, and show the results snippet.  This can cause problems when the mobile version of a site differs from the desktop version – i.e., Google may show a desktop page that doesn’t exist in the mobile site.  When a mobile user clicks the result, they get redirected to the mobile home page because the content they want isn’t available, or to the mobile unfriendly version of the page if the page is not configured for mobile devices.
  7. 7. What Mobile-First Indexing Means for You My business has a responsive site:  Good! Mobile-first indexing should have little to no impact for you.  Google says, “If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.”
  8. 8. What Mobile-First Indexing Means for You My business has a separate mobile site (like  If you have content on your desktop that’s not on your mobile site, it won’t be indexed/eligible for ranking when mobile-first indexing rolls out.  Also, if you have mobile pages where the content is shorter than the desktop version, this could impact the ranking of that content too. • What you should do:  Review your mobile site and ensure that the content you want to rank for is fully represented there.  Make sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.  Make sure rel-annotations ( seo/separate-urls) are on your desktop and mobile sites.
  9. 9. What Mobile-First Indexing Means for You My business doesn’t have a mobile site:  Your site will still be crawled and added to the mobile index.  BUT, because it isn’t mobile friendly, it won’t rank as well and the user experience will be poor for mobile users. What you should do:  Given that more than half of internet usage is mobile, developing a responsive site is highly recommended.
  10. 10. Other Steps to Take • Make sure your site doesn’t include elements that are not mobile friendly, like Flash. • Address site speed issues:  Test your mobile page speed here ( Aim for a score of 85/100 or higher.  Get recommendations for addressing issues here ( and-recommendations). • Revisit your site design from a mobile perspective.  Is it easy to view the content, to toggle between pages, to click links and push buttons?  Is there a variety of content? Video and pictures/infographics are big on mobile.
  11. 11. When is this Happening? • There is no official date from Google yet, but it’s not anticipated to take full effect for several months. • Google has a lot of work to do to address issues like the lack of tokens, content and links that mobile sites have compared to desktop sites, and creating a new page speed measurement process for mobile. • If Google does not see a "quality neutral" data set – in other words, if the quality of search results for its mobile-first shift are not at least as good as what it delivers to searchers today, it says it will not launch the new indexing process until it’s improved.
  12. 12. Key Takeaways • 60%+ of searches are done on mobile devices. • Google is responding by switching from a desktop-first index to a mobile-first index – likely to take effect before the end of 2017. • Sites that are responsive are in good shape. • Separate mobile sites need to ensure that they contain all of the content that site owners want to rank for. • Sites with no mobile version should seriously consider developing a responsive site.
  13. 13. Want More? Reach Out! • For more digital marketing insights, contact us on: