Google’s Mobile First Indexing – How Does This Affect Your Business?


Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you would be well aware of the way in which mobile phones have become an essential part of our daily lives. Many people can’t live without checking in, logging on, reviewing a feed, checking email or simply looking at something, anything! Australia remains one of the leading global adopters of the smartphone and 88 percent of Australians now own one, with market growth being driven by older generations.[1] This is thanks to the infrastructure and relative high-income levels of Australia allowing smartphone purchase, not to mention the increasing adoption by older Australians as a way to communicate with loved ones, stay connected and engaged. Meanwhile, in the USA, a 2017 study showed that 63% of traffic was from mobile devices, up from 57% in 2016[2]. It comes as no great surprise that Google is looking to capitalise upon the global trend in mobile search optimisation and personalisation by ensuring the web is geared for mobile in a way like never seen before. [1] Deloitte: Smart everything, everywhere: Mobile Customer Survey 2017, The Australian Cut[2] What is all the fuss about? Mobile First Indexing as the name suggests has Google placing your mobile site as the first point of contact within their index and the platform for ranking determination. The great element of ‘Mobile First’ is that your regular site can be included – which is especially important if you don’t have a mobile optimised site. However like anything in Google, if you don’t play the game and provide an experience – that being a mobile optimised site – the Google bots will punish you in the rankings, no matter how good your desktop experience may be. What does Mobile First Indexing mean for my business? Google adapting Mobile First Indexing means a word many businesses are afraid of, change. That is not to say the world is about to end as we know it, because these changes are only just coming off the production line now so your changes will have little impact if any now. What can you do to prepare? According to Google themselves, there are series of crutial elements that businesses can start preparing for to ensure that you are continuing to drive your organic and paid SEO traffic, converting and driving your bottom line (whatever that may be in your particular field) and these will differ depending on the following elements: If you have a responsive site or dynamic serving site, where the majority of your content is similar across both mobile and desktop sites – you are in the clear. If you have a site where mobile and desktop are different, this is where changes are recommended to be made. If you are the holder of a separate mobile site to your desktop, then now is the time to start planning, updating and upgrading to ensure you don’t get left behind. Here are seven of the key elements you should consider with the Mobile First Indexing[1]: 1 Content Ensure your mobile site has high quality, SEO-rich content such as videos, text and images. 2 Structured Data Your structured data mark-ups should be the same on both your mobile and desktop sites, don’t use unnecessary data if it’s not relevant to the context of the page. 3 Meta Data Your meta descriptions and title tag need to be ‘equivalent’. That is not exactly the same, as you can still use shorted word counts, however, it’s imperative you optimise. 4 Social Metadata Ensuring that your social metadata is included on your mobile site as well as your desktop is vital to the success of your site as the rise and rise of social media continues. 5 XML and media sitemaps Any and all links to sitemaps need to be valid from your mobile site including links to trust signals and robot directives your developers may have built in. 6 Search Console verification Ensure that you verify your mobile site in Google Search Console, not just your desktop site. 7 Server capacity This is one outside of your control, but in Australia many of our servers are slow at the best of times, so ensure that your services can handle the increase crawl rate if you are running a separate host for your mobile site. Does any of this have you confused? Even if you work in IT, Google or one of the many large industry players – most of whom dictate how we do business over the internet – keeping up with the changes can be a struggle at the best of times. For small & medium businesses, even large corporations it is difficult to comprehend how you can have the time to keep up with all the bot changes, algorithms, meta data and of course mobile indexing, while also running your business of course. The first – and in many cases the most important – touchpoint for customers, marketing, sales, you name it, it is vital that you do everything in your power to ensure it is running smoothly. Furthermore, if you have invested large sums of money in SEO and desktop optimisation only to find out the goal posts have now been moved, you don’t want to lose all the eCommerce or web-traffic momentum your business has established so far. Speaking with an expert is your first step, understanding the changes, if you are affected and how you and your business can take the best, most cost-effective and efficient solution for your particular business. DGreat Solutions has been in the industry for a long period of time and understand the constant fluctuation in Google’s algorithm, which has helped us to position our strategies in growing online visibilities to be dynamic. Our team of specialists are intelligent individuals who are highly skilled and educated in web development and search engine optimisation. If you’re looking for support for Google’s Mobile First Indexing and would like to ensure your business is optimised we can help. Get in touch today to arrange your free