Google prioritises mobile sites

Google has begun to roll out its “mobile first indexing”. If your business relies on a good ranking in search results, then this is big news.

How does Google determine rankings? You probably already know that Google is constantly “crawling” the web and adding the results of what it finds to its own database. It then ranks those results based on a wide number of factors, relative to what a searcher is looking for.

In the past, Google would “crawl” the web as it if were viewing each page on a desktop device. So its results are based upon what a visitor would see when they visit a website on a laptop computer for example. Well; the new change is that Google will now crawl those pages as if it was a mobile device.

This shift is huge. It means that if your website displays different content to mobile visitors than what it shows to desktop visitors, your Google rankings could change massively. For example; many sites that haven’t kept up with the times might show less text, links or images on a mobile site than they would on a desktop. This means that large parts of these sites will not be seen by Google at all – and therefore not show up in results entirely!

Of course we’ve been promoting responsive web design for years now and our customers all have a site that works on mobile AND desktop interchangeably. The content is the same; it just reorganises how it displays for smaller screens. Site owners with a responsive design should not see their rankings be affected by this meteoric Google change.

Further reading:

Google’s New Mobile-First Index and the Death of Desktop SEO

About the author

Dan Wiseman

Founder & director of Web Wise. He writes about web design, marketing, entrepreneurship, investing and games. Dan regularly speaks on these subjects and is available for coaching and consultancy.

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