Google Doubles Down on Mobile-First. Are You Ready?

It’s no secret that more internet users are finding information and entertainment on their mobile devices. In fact, the number of Google searches performed on mobile devices exceeded desktop searches back in March 2015!

Google recently announced that it will be rolling out a new mobile-first index. What exactly does this mean? It means that your webpages will be evaluated based on the mobile content and mobile experience. Yes, even desktop searches will eventually rely on the mobile-first index, although Google says it will use both the desktop and the mobile-first indexes during the roll-out phase.

Google hasn’t said (and will likely not say) when the update will be fully implemented. We do know that it has already begun testing the mobile-first index on some users.

This announcement should not come as a shock. We have seen the writing on the wall for some time. In April 2015, Google rolled out what search marketers ominously dubbed “Mobilegeddon.” The mobile-first storm wasn’t nearly as severe as forecasted, but it sent a powerful message that your website better be mobile-friendly if you want to compete in mobile search results. The addition of AMP (accelerated mobile pages) has further reinforced the mobile-first mentality.

Some things to consider:

  • Rather than looking at your website on your desktop computer, start logging on from your mobile device. After all, this is how Google views your website. You can also view the mobile experience in your Chrome web browser, if that’s more convenient — More Tools > Developer Tools > click the phone icon on the control panel.
  • Is your entire website mobile-friendly? Some website owners didn’t fully commit to a complete mobile-friendly website. While that may have been a short-term solution, the term is coming to an end. Those pages that are not mobile-friendly are at risk for exclusion in the mobile-first index.
  • How much of your overall traffic comes from mobile? How much of your organic traffic comes from mobile? How does that compare to your conversions? If mobile users account for a majority of traffic but a minority of conversions, this is known as a mobile gap.
  • What is your mobile page speed? Mobile users are extremely impatient and are very likely to abandon a webpage if it takes too long to load. Google knows this, which is exactly why faster pages tend to rank higher in search results. So, make sure your all of your pages load superfast – especially on mobile.

What’s next?

The good news is that mobile-first has been a pillar of our work from the very beginning. If you’re currently a Oneupweb client, your website is already in a good place. But rather than think of the mobile-first update as something negative, we consider it an opportunity. So, how else can we improve your mobile-first experience to outrank the competition?

At the end of the day, we want you to know that you are in good hands and that your website is poised for greatness in the “new” mobile-first world. Please let us know if you are interested in a proposal for a mobile audit of your website.