Google Ditches Desktop & Moves to Mobile First Indexing

Alex Barrowclough
By Alex BarrowcloughSEO Manager
5 minutes to read

Google have moved to a mobile first index, so what does this mean?

A few weeks ago, news broke that mobile visits to retail websites have overtaken desktop. You can find out the breakdown of traffic and conversions in this post.

The trend towards mobile has been growing rapidly over the last few years as Google have focused heavily on mobile browsing. This became more evident in 2015 when ‘mobilegeddon’ rolled out. This was an update in which businesses could lose visibility in the organic index if they did not have a mobile friendly version of their website.

Next, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in February 2016. These are stripped down versions of pages which are designed to load faster without scripts or any third party resources. This has now led us to the mobile first index.

What is the mobile first index?

Google have changed their primary search engine index from using the desktop version to now using the mobile version of the web. This means that Google will crawl the web from a mobile point of view.

One of the main talking points of this is whether it will have a big effect on ranking positions. Google have already confirmed that there should be a minimal change in rankings but it is yet to be fully rolled out. Google have also confirmed that there will be just one index which will display listings for both mobile and desktop users.

Despite Google confirming that website ranking positions should see minimal movement, it will be important to make sure that mobile websites have the same level of content as desktop versions. This will be vital as Google will read the mobile version first but this shouldn’t be an issue for any website that is responsive.

Google have released a blog post about mobile-first indexing and in addition to this there are some really good articles which go into more depth about the effects of the update.

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Articles by Alex Barrowclough

Hey I'm Alex! I am an SEO Manager at Enjoy Digital. Love to talk about the ever changing digital industry, focusing on organic and paid search.