Gary Illyes from Google today announced Mobile First Indexing at this years Pubcon in Las Vegas. The search giant told conference attendees of the they will start indexing mobile versions of websites instead of the desktop versions currently used.
According to Illyes as a result of the switch, there are some rankings signals that will get lost between the desktop and mobile switch, he didn’t elaborate on what those signals where, although during the Q&A he did suggest that these signals would typically be links and structured data in scenarios where users have separate websites for desktop and mobile.
If your website is build using Responsive Web Design (RWD), then you should be fine as effectively you are displaying the same website content on both desktop and mobile devices.
However, you may want to check for any content that is being hidden at your various breakpoints as it seems likely that if this isn’t visible on mobile and tablet devices that Google will ignore the hidden content within the Mobile Index.
For sites with separate versions for desktop and mobile, you are going to be affected. You really need to start looking at the mobile version of your website as you are almost certainly going to have separate content on both versions and if you mobile version isn’t up so scratch then you are in trouble.
NB: At Graphitas we currently have a separate mobile site. We are currently building a new site which uses responsive web design … that has just been moved to the high priority list!!
Illyes was not prepared to give a timeframe on when the algorithm change will go live Historically Google’s gives site owners and developers ample time to prepare for such updates so at a guess it is unlikely we will see this change until at least Q2 in 2017 in my opinion.
If you are concerned about this update or just want a bit of information, feel free to drop me a tweet.
This blog post will be updated with further information…