Today, users are relying more on their mobile device for their online activity and relying less on their computers. With this is mind, the reasoning behind the mobile-first indexing becomes clearer. What does this mean for you, your business, and website?
With technology advancements and more mobile users, Google has released a number of updates designed to make the mobile experiencing better and more streamlined. These advancements have led to the roll out of the mobile-first index.
What is the Mobile-First Index?
Google collects data from each web page and creates an index of the collected information. The indexed information is then used to formulate and display search results based on search queries. Until recently, Google primarily viewed web pages as a desktop user would. Mobile pages were important, but, fell secondary to desktop pages.
When will the Mobile-First Index Happen?
The mobile-first index was first announced in November 2016 and will roll out completely in 2018. Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google John Mueller tweeted that “mobile pages should be fully equivalent in content & functionality regardless of indexing.” This equates to users wanting the same level of experience no matter the device they are using. Mueller has also tweeted “We’re planning on switching sites over as we see they’re ready. It’s unlikely that we’ll have a single “launch date”. Details still in work.”
Migrate Your M-Dot Website to a Responsive Website
It’s simple, really, if you currently have an m-dot and a www domain, you will need to transition to a responsive website. Which, when thought about, is better for everyone involved. With a responsive website, there’s only one website to maintain and they work seamlessly across all devices. Someone viewing your website on their computer will have the same experience as those using tablets and cellphones.
Since Google has had a desktop-first index, they annotate the m-dot URLs without a true indexing of the m-dot content. By doing a migration now, Google won’t have to do any indexing, it will update the mobile annotations and state that the website is mobile-friendly.
If this happens after the mobile-first index update, then Google will have to fully index your m-dot content and URLs. This will make the migration take longer because Google will need to update the ULRs, the content and signals within the pages.