Website optimization for mobile is becoming more critical, which is a trend that has been underway for a while now. With mobile searches consistently representing 50% or more of all Internet traffic, according to Statista, Google’s prioritization of mobile comes as no surprise.
Google is putting more stock into mobile-first indexing and making sure that mobile users have the best possible online experience. They’ve decided to enable it by default for all websites created after July 1, 2019. What does this mean for website optimization and your SEO website?
Reasons for the Change
Newly-made websites are generally ready for mobile-first indexing as soon as they’re up and running. The main requirement for readiness is the ability to accommodate Smartphone Googlebot’s crawling method. According to Google, that’s now an easy requirement to fulfill for new websites, so it’s merely a quality-of-life change.
The announcement mostly serves to let website owners know that if they create a new website, after July 1, they won’t be getting a notification that they’re being indexed with mobile-first indexing. That will be the default indexing behaviour going forward.
What Should Older Websites Do?
Google does recommend existing websites to prepare for mobile-first indexing and to implement responsive web design. However, the announced July 1 changes won’t be impacting existing websites. Instead, Google will keep on monitoring them and evaluating pages based on the current indexing practices.
Once an existing website is ready for Smartphone Googlebot crawling, the website owner will get a notification through the Search Console. The ultimate goal is to eventually move all sites to mobile-first indexing to ensure the best possible experience for mobile users.
The Importance of Mobile-Friendly Site Design
Mobile-first indexing isn’t a ranking factor — it only means that the mobile version of your website will be indexed first if you have it. However, since February 2017 mobile-friendly design is necessary and not having an optimized site could hurt your ranking.
With more websites opting for mobile-friendly design, desktop-only sites will be pushed down in the search results. Google wants to make sure that mobile users can browse effortlessly, which is why the algorithms are favouring mobile-friendly design.
Even though mobile-first indexing is not a website ranking factor, making sure that your website works well on mobile is an integral part of your website optimization. Adopting Google guidelines is always a good idea to have the best possible website ranking.
Correctly implementing these changes is essential, but they won’t provide a significant boost on their own. Making an SEO website means it will take time before you can see the impact on your bottom line.
If you wish to start enjoying good results for your business faster, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.