Mobile First 2018

The need for a mobile version of your website in 2018 is becoming ever more important in the age of Smartphones . With heavy duty mobile users predicted to triple by 2019 and smartphones out selling PC’s for the first time ever in 2017, you are almost guaranteed that your website has been accessed by more than a mobile platform in its life time. If you’ve used your mobile to access the internet, you’re familiar with the frustration of sites that just plain don’t work. How about accessing a Flash-based site from an iPhone or iPad – ouch, sorry, Flash isn’t supported …

But how to adapt website to the changing needs of the mobile user? Thinking about your site from a mobile point of view first helps put a different perspective on your website. Typically a standard website viewed on a desktop provides the designer with a canvas of about 1024px by 768px (a safe bet these days). Often Sydney web design teams fill up every single available pixel with some kind of content to make the site productive and to “not waste screen real estate”. Often website stakeholders feel their message is going to be missed if it doesn’t scream out at the visitors from their company’s website. All too many websites give the user far too many options and no clear path to their website goals.

When you start from scratch by building a mobile website you are forced to prune away all the excess fat off your website. The main functions must be immediately apparent to the end user. Although scaling the website up to a larger devices (e.g. 24 inch monitors) will allow for more workspace, you don’t have to start filling it up with content straight away just because you can. Of course the design will change depending on the amount of screen space for the designer to work with, but the fundamental goals of the website should not change. There may be some functions that apply only to desktop users which become available but the core goals of the website should still apply. This should mean that the end product on all devices is an enjoyable experience for the both mobile and desktop users. New responsive design techniques allow websites to respond to the users differing screen sizes, providing an optimised design for each.

Even if a mobile website is not in your current plans, the mobile design process helps to ensure your website sends an easy-to-use, clear message to your user. “Mobile First” not only can create a better mobile version of your website but a better overall experience on all platforms. The common approach now is to launch the desktop version of your website and ask “What can we strip out to make a mobile version?” Isn’t this working backwards? If you are prepared to chop out sections of your desktop-based website, why is it on there in the first place? “Mobile First” is not a silver bullet, solving all website problems with ease, but there are many cases where Mobile First can result in a cleaner, goal-oriented website that works well for mobile and desktop visitors.

What is the Mobile First Index?

Indicator is Google’s way of serving up more relevant search results to mobile users. The search giant has chosen a certain number of Sites That meet the corporation’s criteria for mobile-friendly layout and are now Using the mobile version of the website in order to populate the SERPs.

mobile-first-index-2018
Image Source : https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/

Let’s Say that your site was selected to be involved with the Google mobile first index rollout. You’d get an alert in Google Search Console to let you know.

From there, Google would crawl your cellphone site first. It would also display information from the mobile type of Your site from the SERPs for searchers to see.

This doesn’t mean Your desktop site no longer exists or get crawled. If someone Searches for a keyword related to your company on a desktop computer, They would still discover the desktop version of your website.

In The last, Google only considered a site’s desktop version when Rank and crawling pages. That’s no longer true. Since mobile Users spend twice more minutes on the web compared to desktop users, Google understands the need to serve those users better content.

What Are the Primary Changes With the Mobile First Index in 2018?

In March 2018, Google announced the primary shift in the mobile index strategy. Specifically, the search engine will bring in more Websites now the algorithm, bugs, and testing have been ironed out.

If Your site is not in the first, second, or third wave of the rollout, don’t worry. Keep in Mind that Google, as of 2016, had indexed over 130 trillion web pages. That is a lot. It’ll take some time for Google to get to them all.

Furthermore, some sites do not even have mobile versions yet. If your website does not utilize responsive design or a cellular Alternative website, it probably does not render well on mobile screens. You Have time to rectify that issue, which I will get to later.

The point here is that Google has made some changes regarding the way that it indexes pages:

  • Distributing as much mobile-friendly content as possible to individuals on tablets tablets, and similar apparatus
  • For sites in the rollout, Google will display the mobile version of a Site if it exists on another URL (e.g. m.your site.com rather than yoursite.com)
  • Websites with dynamic serving built in will have their mobile-friendly pages served to mobile users
  • Google will choose mobile-friendly websites over AMP websites.

What Google says about the Mobile First Index

Google Has been quick to staunch any panic surrounding its cellular first indicator. In the short term, at least, it should not affect your rankings for your existing web pages.

Basically, Google will be using a bot Known as a smartphone agent. It helps to identify websites that follow Mobile best practices, and are therefore more acceptable for the mobile first index.

If you have a desktop website without a mobile Alternative, or in case your website uses responsive design, there’ll be no change right now. The exact same is true when you use canonical AMP.

Additionally, Google asserts that the mobile first indicator — at least for now — has Nothing to do with real ranking. It is concerned with how Google “collects content”

For Example, if you have a mobile version of Your website or responsive design, your SERP listings will remain the same. Google will pull information from the website as it always has.

If, However, you have several URLs for desktop and mobile, Google will want to serve up the mobile version to smartphone and tablet users. They will see the content in the SERPs as defined by the mobile variant of Your site, including your headline, URL extension, and meta tag description.
How to Construct a Mobile First Indexing Strategy for Your Site

With All of the backstory out of the way, let’s look at how it is possible to prepare a Sound strategy for the mobile index. Preparing ahead can make your Website more likely to get listed in the cellular first indicator. Additionally, You will not suffer any positions issues later on.

About the author

Hi, my name is Marcelo and I’m a local SEO consultant and web designer in Sydney. I’ve been involved in web design and SEO for over 16 years and in that time I’ve ranked countless client websites, as well as my own business websites. I currently live in Connells Point, Sydney – St George NSW and it’s my objective to help local businesses to thrive. Whether you’re a plumber, dentist, attorney, carpet cleaner, builder or tradesman, I will help your businesses achieve an established online existence using my own proven formula.