If you’re paying attention to Google, then you know there’s a new shift coming. Every so often, Google likes to shake things up a bit for online marketers. If you’re not able to adapt quickly, then you’ll be one of the unfortunate that’s left behind. So what’s Google cooking up this time around? If you guessed it had something to do with mobile marketing, then you’re right on the money. Google’s mobile-first index is what it’s called, and it’s going to change the SEO game for every company.
The mobile-first index is similar to its traditional index, except its crawlers search and index pages that pass the mobile-friendly criteria. If your website pages pass the test, then it will be indexed high in the SERPs.
Back in the day, your pages were crawled by Google bots based on desktop criteria only, but no more. Most users today are surfing the net using their mobile devices. So Google now finds it essential to rank websites and pages based on their mobile-friendly factor. This is why hiring an SEO agency in Los Angeles to update your website is important. A professional can also recreate your website with a responsive design to suit both desktop and mobile visitors.
Of course, being mobile-friendly is only one part of the criteria. An SEO company in Los Angeles can help you determine what changes are needed to improve your ranking. Search engine optimization will definitely play a big role in your position in the SERPs.
Giving Your Website Mobile-First Appeal
Hands down, if your website lacks a responsive design, then it’s not going to fare well in the SERPs. Of course, having a desktop-only design doesn’t mean your site won’t get ranked. But it does mean it won’t get ranked high. Switching to a responsive design will not only appease Google, but your visitors as well. If you don’t want to lose your rank and your visitors, then catering to mobile users is key.
Will Expandable Content Work Against You?
If your site uses the expandable content feature, then you may be worried that it’s not getting properly crawled and indexed. Expandable content is when you place a “read more” link beneath a paragraph of text, versus showing all the content on the page. This makes it easier for visitors to scroll through to find the content they want.
The good news is that expandable content will be crawled just as plainly displayed content pages. Thankfully, Google is aware of convenience designs, which are geared towards users on mobile devices. So no penalties will be given out for this.
How Much Will Rankings Change?
No one really knows for sure how much rankings will change, but it’s believed that the initial effect will be insignificant. However, there’s one tip to keep in mind – your Search Engine Optimization won’t do well if your site isn’t mobile-friendly.
Is Mobile-First Indexing Already in Effect?
No, not yet. It may not be implemented for another few months. Google hasn’t dished out the release date (as always). So we will be in the dark until we start to see the effects of its implementation. Only then will we know the full extent of the new ranking system and how it will effect most websites.
If you want to see what the Google crawlers will see, you can go to the Google Search Console and click on “Fetch as Google.” This will show your site as the crawlers view it. You can select whether you want to view it as a mobile smartphone or other device.
We expect the new Google index to merge into the old one, which will likely happen once the search engine feels confident the new index works. Just make sure your company’s SEO ends up on the right side of the search results.