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Google’s Mobile-First Index Coming in 2018

Mobile has officially taken over, as evidenced by the recent news that Google released. In 2018, Google plans to introduce a mobile-first index. The search engine giant has discovered that nearly 60% of searches take place on mobile, and they are updating their index to accommodate these browsing habits.

Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes announced the news at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle. Ilyes emphasized that desktop sites will not stop ranking. They will, however, fall behind mobile. “Mobile-first means mobile first. It only means that we will look for mobile content first,” he said.

Right now, Google crawls the internet from a desktop browser view, looking for pages and documents to collect for their search engine index. In the future, the crawling will occur from a mobile browser view.

Next year will mark the beginning of the changeover, and Ilyes said that there would be a full rollout of the mobile-first index within five years. Since the changes are happening slowly, Ilyes said that webmasters have plenty of time to ensure that their sites are mobile responsive and mobile-friendly.

Making your site up-to-date for the mobile-first index 

Your business needs a mobile responsive website to reach customers who are in the group conducting 60% of mobile searches. If your website is not mobile and responsive, your competitors with mobile sites will rank closer to the top of the results, while your site will rank lower.

If you want to direct traffic to your website and capture customers now and in the future, switch over to a responsive version before Google’s changes happen. The search engine recommends making your site responsive so that you do not lose any valuable content. If you make a mobile version that is not responsive, you may not transfer over all of your content, and it will negatively affect your ranking.

You also need to ensure that all your content is mobile-friendly. That matters now and even more for when the mobile-first index comes out. Google has said that content that is not mobile-friendly will not rank as well other content with the new index.

Also, be sure the page speed of your mobile site is fast because that will determine the rank of your mobile and desktop sites on the search engine. Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz predicts that Google will examine your site’s title, structured data, H1s, and various tags and content from your mobile site and use them to determine your ranking rather than your desktop site.

Finding a responsive web design agency 

While there is still time to do a mobile-first makeover of your website for the new Google mobile-first index, it is crucial that you start the process now. More customers are relying on mobile search, so you need to ensure it is accessible.

To learn more about mobile-first design, and to ensure your website is going to rank well now and when Google rolls out its mobile-first index, contact KEO Marketing today.

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.