Google regularly change their algorithms so that they can deliver the most relevant results to users. This is great if you’re searching for something yourself, but can cause issues for website owners who watch their site move up and down the listings for no apparent reason.
Those of you with Google Search Console installed will have noticed an email recently called “Mobile-first indexing enabled” which relates to pretty major changes. Your website’s position could easily move, so it would be worth keeping an eye on it.
So what’s changed, and how can you ensure your site doesn’t drop?
In 2015 we wrote an article “Is Google the enemy?” outlining these changes, and now they are being rolled out.
Essentially Google traditionally has had two bots looking at your site, one ‘pretending’ it’s a desktop computer, and one ‘pretending’ it’s a mobile phone. Google used to use the desktop Googlebot to rank your site in search engines, and then adjust your result when users use mobile devices depending on what the mobile Googlebot found.
These days more web browsing is done on mobile devices than desktop computers, and so Google has turned this on the head, using the mobile Googlebot’s findings as their primary method to determine your position.
Still following me? Well, putting it as simply as I can…
If your website doesn’t function well on mobile phones, your position on Google is likely to drop.
That’s right, in most cases Google cares more about mobile websites than they do desktop ones.
“Mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they're looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version of your site's content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version.”
“You may also see that snippets in Google Search results are now generated from the mobile version of your content.”
So, how do you know if your website is likely to perform well?
Easy, get in touch and we’ll look for you, for free.
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