google indexing

Google Mobile-First Indexing and Why It Matters to Your Website

Your business website is the face of your company and is where you are found online. In order to bring in traffic and potential customers, your site needs to be indexed well by Google with the help of a SEO company Scottsdale. Indexing means that Google knows about your site and has added it to its database. The process begins with bots that “crawl” your site to gather information about it. This is why good search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. After crawling, the data is analyzed and tested against an algorithm that ensures best practices are being followed. When someone searches on Google, the algorithm presents the sites that have good SEO and lists them first. This is where you want your website to be.

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

mobile-first indexingGoogle introduced mobile-first indexing in 2016. At that time, it began prioritizing the mobile versions of websites over traditional desktop content. This was a big move by the search engine to align its index with the way users around the world were accessing the web. As of 2018, 52 percent of global website traffic was generated through mobile devices. While this does not seem like a big majority, the picture is clear when it is broken down by continent. In Africa, the mobile access rate is 60 percent. In Asia, this number climbs to 65 percent. There is a strong trend of the world moving away from traditional computers and using the internet through smartphones.



How Mobile-First Indexing Affects Your Website

If your business site has a separate mobile version, you should consider making changes. With the current algorithm, your desktop and mobile sites are considered to be different, and this will affect how each is indexed. Originally, dedicated mobile sites were created because cell phones used the Edge and 3G networks, which are not very fast. In addition, early phones had limited browsers that were not capable of loading large amounts of site elements, meaning mobile sites had to be very lightweight and text-based. Today’s smartphones are like miniature computers, and they can load websites just like a desktop. You no longer need to have a mobile version of your site, but you do need to have a responsive design that works on any size screen.

Why Speed Matters in Mobile-First Indexing

mobile speedResponsive design provides a consistent experience for all website visitors regardless of the device they are using. It is also optimized for fast loading. This is important because Google uses page speed as a ranking signal. Many online users will leave sites if they do not load within three seconds. This applies to both mobile and desktop. You do not have much time to keep visitors interested in your content, so the best practice is to make it load as quickly as possible. If your site is too slow, especially on mobile, your bounce rate will increase, creating a negative impact on your indexing. Google provides guidelines for mobile indexing along with a speed test to see if your site is up to current standards. Investing in a professional responsive website design is one of the best things you can do for your business.

As the world shifts to a more mobile internet experience, you cannot afford to let your business site fall behind the times. While having a dedicated mobile version is no longer a requirement, you do need to provide a fast, high-quality experience for all visitors. You also need to meet all of the mobile-first standards set by Google to achieve optimal indexing.

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