Websites will be shifted into the mobile-first indexing era gradually, starting with sites that are currently using the best practices for mobile-first indexing. On these sites, Google will give higher priority to the mobile version of each web page rather than to its fast-loading AMP pages. Once sites have been moved into the mobile-first era, they will start to experience greater numbers of visits by the Smartphone Googlebot.

These websites will also be notified of this major update by the Search console. Following this updating of a site to mobile-first indexing status, the mobile version of the site pages will be shown in Google Search results and Google cached pages. Google is also reassuring owners of websites that are not yet mobile-optimized that even if they have only desktop content, these sites will continue to appear in Google indexing.

Search Engine Facts You Need to Know for Effective SEO in the Mobile-First Era

Important facts you must know in order to benefit from effective website SEO in the mobile-first era include the following:

• Advantages of a Responsive Website. – If you already have a responsive or a dynamic serving website, your site is prepared for the onset of a mobile-first index. Since, on responsive or dynamic serving sites, the major content and layout is the same for both mobile and desktop versions, there should be no need for any design or content changes before the new form of indexing is initiated. However, if you currently have a desktop and a mobile website that differ, without responsive design, Google recommends that you serve structured data on both mobile and desktop sites. Also, you should test your mobile site version on the robots.txt testing tool to ensure that it can be accessed by Googlebots, and be sure to verify your mobile site version in the Search console.

• Necessity for Updated Mobile Site SEO. – Ask your web development SEO expert to optimise your mobile website, or the mobile version of your desktop site, first, changing the desktop version afterward to coincide with the new mobile version. The mobile site optimisation should focus on site design and structure as well as page loading speed. Buttons, menu tabs and links on your mobile site pages should click easily and have adequate spacing between them. For mobile sites, HTML5 is now generally used, especially since it is not dependent on plugins. Limiting page size and image content is helpful. In terms of page speed, websites that have servers and back-end infrastructure that deliver web content rapidly tend to have higher search rankings than slower sites.

• Effects of Changing Your Mobile Site Pages to AMP. – With Google’s introduction of the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) Project, an open source initiative for boosting the loading speed of the mobile web, site pages with content that is rich like images and video load immediately. AMP was given a test-run with a small number of web publishers in 2015, including, LinkedIn and Twitter. The feature of faster load time for rich content has proven to be appealing to many website owners, although some have expressed concerns about possible loss of web page formatting or other side effects. Web design and SEO experts are advising site owners to experiment with use of AMP to determine how it will affect formatting and site performance for different sites. Today, AMP is available for global usage only in the news carousel. However, it is expected to roll out to affect primary search results soon.

By embracing updated website design features and SEO techniques structured for the mobile-first era, you can effectively gain high search ranking for your business or personal interest website for significant increases in your site traffic, client base and sales conversion rates.