Mobile-first indexing is just what it sounds like. It basically means that the version of the website shown on your mobile phones becomes the initial point in the index included by Google and also, the baseline for how they determine the rankings.
If anyone’s monitors crawl bot traffic on their site, they might find increased traffic from Smartphone Googlebot, and the various cached versions of pages would usually appear on the mobile version of the page.
This can be seen with the help of Google analytics technique and how it enhances the page loading and viewing the quality of the mobile pages and contents.
What is mobile-first indexing?
It is called “mobile-first” because it is not just a mobile-only index: for example, we know that a site can still be included in the index if it does not have a mobile-friendly version but still has a desktop version.
However, even though it is included in the index, the ranking of the site is going to be negatively affected as the site does not have a mobile-friendly interface which is the new need of customers.
On the other hand, if it has a mobile-friendly interface, then it improves the experience of the user, making it easy and useful.
It was first launched by Google in November 2016
Therefore, mobile-first indexing is first of its kind, launched initially by Google in November, 2016, which is basically a mobile-centric reorganization of search index.
The approach of using desktop content as primary data and the difference in content between the desktop and mobile versions of a site has been implemented till now, however, with mobile-first indexing, the use of content in the mobile version will now be applied as the primary source for content for most of the search index.
Go for a more responsive design when it comes to mobile indexing
Just in case, if your website has responsive design, which means that you have optimized your site in such a manner that the content and structure is not disturbed in both the versions – mobile and desktop, and the view is equivalent, then according to the theory, mobile-first indexing will not have any such major impact on the search and results of your website’s performance.
It is important to understand that this new approach does not represent any fundamental reversal in the way of Google’s thinking approach towards your website structure and content, and how to give importance to crawling and indexation.
What is the future of mobile indexing?
Since we know that Google has always considered the desktop site as the primary version traditionally for all this while (which is similar to a canonical URL) and the mobile version of site was just used as an alternative for being used just in case or, rarely.
Such viewing of the desktop version as the primary source was more often in practice which is why, the desktop version of the site was prioritized by various SEOs and marketing teams for a long period of time.
It was often treated as one of the most comprehensive version of a website which offered full and proper content, a structured data markup, international tags, and many more.
But now, the time has changed, bringing about the use of mobile not as an alternative but as a necessity which is why the mobile-first indexing is a major step taken towards the betterment of user’s experience.
This is exactly why Google has encouraged webmasters who have a separate mobile version of their site (m.domain.com) so that they can implement switchboard tags that indicate the existence of a mobile URL version with a special tag.
However, this needs to be done only by expert SEO people who are in the field of indexing for long years and this is where in companies such as Supple can help you out.