We've talked about mobile-compliancy for a website before and if you haven't made the switch you may find yourself sorely behind. Being mobile-compliant is crucial now. Your site MUST be mobile-compliant not only for SEO purposes but just for the basic functionality for users! I mean, 63% of online activity is done through mobile devices now; smartphones, tablets, iPads, etc.. If your site is not rated for mobile-compliancy, you WILL be left behind.
So on the back of that little tidbit, Google has been sending out these emails that look like this:
Let's go back to the beginning... what exactly does it mean to be "mobile compliant"? I'm going to make this really easy, if you have to pinch your fingers on the screen to read a website, and it looks exactly like it does on desktop, you probably are not mobile compliant. Mobile compliant means the site literally readjusts and sometimes looks totally different than it would on a desktop. The words are bigger, the organization simpler, and images can move and disappear for speed and loading sake.
Look at our website: The desktop and the mobile. The desktop has a GIF that's moving (removed on mobile for speed) Words are more centered and as you scroll down, images are stacked instead of side by side so the reader can see everything clearly.
The first batch of emails when out in April. But what does it all mean? It has to be good, right?
Here's what Google has said:
"To recap, our crawling, indexing and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page's content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we'll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our- primarily mobile- users find what they're looking for." - Webmaster Central Blog
Basically, the majority of searches are being conducted on mobile devices but the results are still formulated for desktop first. That's all changed now. YES, this means that if your site is not mobile compliant or has a mobile version, you MAY NOT show up on mobile search results.
This allows for better results for the user.
This is not to say that Google is going mobile only, but mobile sites will be indexed FIRST and therefore will show up first, and desktop second if there are no other options... but that version may be well buried on the 10th page (literally no-mans land).
What this means in the SEO world.
Well, not a whole lot, but if you are NOT mobile-compliant, I suggest getting on that.
“It’s called ‘mobile-first’ because it’s not a mobile-only index: for instance, if a site doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. But the lack of a mobile-friendly experience could impact negatively on the rankings of that site, and a site with a better mobile experience would potentially receive a rankings boost even for searchers on a desktop.” - MOZ
Who will be affected?
If you have a different site for mobile and desktop, just know that the mobile version will be the one indexing on mobile devices. SO - make sure your mobile version is just as amazing and killer as the desktop version. No half-a**-ing the mobile design.
Just as with your main site, your mobile site should have:
- Amazing content, rich, high-quality, videos and text.
- Structured Data, proper URLs
- Meta Data information, title, descriptions, (similar but not necessarily the same as desktop)
- Social data
- Verified mobile version in Google Search Console
- Fast load times
What about Ranking?
Right now, Google uses the primary desktop to determine rankings BUT you know that it's only a matter of time before that changes permanently.
If your site is not mobile-ready, you can still rank, but on mobile devices, your rank will get farther and farther from the first page of results.
Read More on Moz.com - (very detailed)
SO what to do?
If you're mobile compliant, great! Do nothing! Just sit back and wait for your email. If not, check the site. Find out how your site can be mobile compliant.
Need help? That's what we're here for!