Mobile-first indexing has become a highlighted concept in the digital marketing world this past year.
Realizing the potential of mobile-friendly sites with the number of consumers becoming more dependent on their smartphones and only increasing day-by-day, businesses need to be sure they are updating their sites accordingly.
Mobile-first indexing simply means that the mobile-friendly site becomes the starting point for what Google writes in their index. This can be considered to be the first step to determining the ranks displayed on the search engine results pages. After doing the mobile-first indexing, one can check the crawl bot traffic to their site and experience a significant increase in traffic.
When studying the mobile-first indexing, one should note that it does not mean mobile-only index. A desktop site can also be included in this index but, the rankings will differ. If mobile-first indexing is focused on first, there might also be a rankings boost on any desktop search engine results pages too.
Previously, a mobile site was considered to be the alternate version of a desktop website. But, with more and more people using their smartphones, tablets and other data devices to search something or conduct transactions, the mobile version of a site has become a priority.
This handy infographic will help clarify key components associated with Mobile-first indexing:
The content on the mobile-friendly sites should always be relevant to the service or products offered and high-quality. The text, videos, and images published on the mobile-friendly site should be properly organized such that the search engine does not have any problem during crawling and indexing.
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In this case, the structured data markup should be same on both the desktop and mobile versions. One should also avoid adding extra structured data that is not so relevant to the content of the page.
The titles and meta descriptions on the desktop and mobile versions of a site should be similar. This is mainly because the service or product does not change when viewed from the smartphone.
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One needs to use the rel=hreflang for internationalization such that the mobile URL’s hreflang annotations denote the mobile version of the region in which the business is based.
XML and media sitemaps:
If the app indexation has been set up for a desktop site, then you must also ensure that the mobile counterpart has also been verified.
Mobile switchboard tags are quite similar to the canonical tags that inform Google that a mobile URL exists. If the mobile switchboard tags have already been implemented, then there is no need to reverse it. They should be left just the way they are.
Google presently uses the same index it has now for mobile-first indexing too. When one shifts to mobile-first indexing, it does not mean that a new mobile-first index is generated. The process simply changes the way of adding content to the existing index.
If your business hasn’t begun preparing for mobile-first indexing, you may want to get your team on this soon rather than later.