It’s no secret that mobile search is more popular than desktop.
Following Google’s May 2015 announcement that that was indeed true in 10 countries including the US and Japan, businesses everywhere started putting more effort into making sure their websites and digital marketing campaigns were mobile-friendly.
Now, it’s going to be even more important to make sure your business is optimized for mobile.
According to a recent article on Search Engine Land, On October 13th, Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, gave the keynote speech at Pubcon where he discussed that Google will soon be creating a separate mobile index and that this will be the primary index that Google uses to respond to queries.
Google will still maintain a separate desktop index, but it will be secondary to mobile and will not be as up-to-date.
So, what does that mean for your business?
When mobile search was just getting started, Google was relying on desktop signals to make decisions about how to rank websites in the mobile results. That meant if you were ranking well for desktop searches, you would tend to rank well for mobile searches, regardless of whether or not your website was mobile-friendly.
When Google shifts to a mobile index, being mobile-friendly will no longer be optional. It will be a must. The mobile version of your website will be Google’s first check point to see if your website deserves to rank on the coveted first page.
Illyes didn’t announce a timeline for when these changes would take place, but Search Engine Land says when they followed up with him he said it would happen within “months”.
This likely means that we can expect Google to make this switch in early 2017. The bad thing is, that’s only a few months away. The good thing is, that means you still have a few months to make the changes necessary to keep your rankings high.
What can you do now to prepare for these changes?
The first thing you should do is find out if your site is currently optimized for mobile by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.
To use the tool, simply input the URL you’d like to test and let Google run the scan. Then, you’ll get your results and find out if your site is mobile-friendly or not.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, then consider moving to WordPress. There are many professional, mobile responsive WordPress themes that you can buy for about $50. Having a mobile-friendly site will not only help your rankings on Google, but will also guarantee a better user experience for all visitors to your site.
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