Google’s Mobile-First Index is the search engine giant’s latest creation that has website owners and managers everywhere wondering what will become of their SEO. Those behind the one search engine to rule them all recently responded to the mass confusion from the index plan via several tweets; however, website owners are still befuddled about the impact the potential change will have on natural search engine rankings. If you are wondering what will happen to your mobile landing pages and rankings, read on.
Search Indexing Is Now Exclusively Mobile
Once upon a time, Google’s index was all about desktop usage. Then came the smartphone and the tablet, and with it the desire to shop, read the news, check email, look at social media, and do pretty much anything else people do with the internet on mobile devices. This dramatic increase in mobile usage changed how Google indexes its searches.
“With Mobile-first indexing, we index the mobile version,” Google Webmasters explained on Twitter. “When we recognize separate mobile URLs, we’ll show the mobile URL to mobile users, and the desktop URL to desktop users–the indexed content will be the mobile version in both cases.”
How To Know If Your Website Is Mobile-First
Google is busy notifying website owners that their sites are mobile-first, something the search engine promises will result in more traffic. If you haven’t received a notification yet, don’t fret, as this slow process will not result in any penalizations on your end. After all, Google webmasters are the ones who made this significant change, and it is likely they are notifying owners in sections, gaggles, herds, etc. at a time to reduce problems.
Besides, every site is, in fact, mobile. Everything that would come up on a desktop search comes up on a mobile search, no matter how mobile-unfriendly the site tends to be. So you do not have much to worry about in regards to fixing your mobile landing pages in fear of penalties. You’ll do better to put your efforts into crafting outstanding mobile content to win that coveted increase in traffic, revenue, and brand awareness.
Rankings for Your Mobile Landing Pages Won’t Be Affected
No, your search engine rankings will not be affected by mobile-first–assuming your mobile website SEO is on point. Your rankings fluctuate depending on how your website is written and coded, and how it fares next to its greatest competition. Google’s one index is just that–one. And you’re in it.
Delistings & Your Site
Just like your rankings, mobile-first will not affect your listing…unless you go the spam route. Violating Google’s quality guidelines is a one-way ticket to spamville, and one you probably aren’t planning on taking. So again, mobile-first does not mean your site will be delisted.
If you are still feeling uneasy about your mobile landing pages or any other website content during this change, keep the following in mind: if your site looks great on any device, what’s there to worry about? If it doesn’t, now’s the time to make it as awesome as possible.