For many markets, mobile search is more popular than desktop. This means more people are searching from their mobile / smart phones and tablets than from fixed desktop computers.
Many smart business owners realise this and have a website that looks good no matter what device is used to view it. But not all.…which will soon become a major problem for them. But even if you do have a mobile friendly website you might still be effected. Read on…
Currently it is very important to make sure your visitors can view and read your site properly on their phone.
Soon If you don’t have a mobile optimised site they may not even see your listing AT ALL.
According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, On October 13th, Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, said that Google will soon be creating a separate mobile index and that this will be the primary index that Google uses to respond to queries. Google will still maintain a separate desktop index, but it will be secondary to mobile and will not be as up-to-date.
What does that actually mean?
We probably won’t now the full scope until it actually happens but consider this … currently Google pretty much uses desktop signals to make decisions about how to rank websites in the mobile results. So ranking well for desktop searches also usually means you can rank fairly well for mobile searches too, regardless of whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. (This changed a bit recently but bear with me…. )
This announcement of a shift to a primary index solely for mobile search results changes things in a very big way.
1. Being mobile-friendly will no longer be optional. It will be essential. Because the mobile version of the website will be what Google looks at first.
2. Is was stated that the mobile index will be the PRIMARY index which will be updated the most often. So getting listed well on the desktop search results is probably going to take even longer than before – since it will be part of a secondary!
And it already takes quite a few months.!!!
So, if you’re not indexed yet for desktop search you had better get started…. Now.
On the plus side it could also mean the desktop listing will be less prone to jumping up and down the page which we see a lot of at the moment.
When will this happen?
No date was given for when these changes would take place, but Search Engine Land says when they followed up with Gary Illyes he said it would happen within “months”. So I am guessing early 2017. Only a few months from now
Now that you know you can do something about it
Your immediate action plan is
1. Get your website mobile friendly immediately. (Check if your site is currently optimized for mobile by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. (a free tool from Google )
If this means a new website then I recommend using a wordpress website with a responsive layout.
2. Get ranked as well, and as high as possible, in the current index results. That way you have a shot at the higher spots when the index splits. Don’t wait to get started as SEO takes time.
3. If you are a local business you absolutely must must must get your Google My Business profile set up and claim your google maps listing. This will put you in good stead to rank well in the google local 3-pack listings often seen at the top of page 1 for local searches. But even if you don’t make it there you will still be visible on Google maps. So get your local SEO done too.
Do these things and do them now. You can thank me later. Because even if the changes are not as dramatic as Illyes seems to suggest, your rankings and conversions from your website will increase by doing these things anyway.
If you want help with any of these contact me. I can do all of these steps, so no need to go to three different providers. Just contact me and I will see what I can do to help you