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What is Mobile First Index, and how does it affect SEO?

What is Mobile First Index, and how does it affect SEO?

The constant development of technology, especially mobile devices, is significant for current generation. They give us opportunity to access to the world from every part of the world. These relatively small devices offer us many possibilities: from constant communication with friends and family, through many other online activities such as working out with apps, learning via online courses or most importantly – shopping. Online shopping became even easier and more available via mobile devices than computers. Google updates follow this trends while updating algorithms, and one of these updates is Mobile First Indexing. What is it, and how does it affect SEO? You will find it out in the following article!

What is Mobile First Index?

Mobile First Indexing is a methodology for mobile-first indexing websites by specific Googlebot. It means that the mobile version of the domain is analyzed and indexed as a priority. How does it affect positioning? Websites with underdeveloped mobile version that is slow to operate with will have low position in Google search results.

However, it doesn’t mean that Google bots analyze only the mobile version. Mobile First Index sets it as the main one for the whole website analysis in terms of its compliance with Google standards. The desktop version goes on the side track, but it is also indexed.

Until the introduction of the Mobile First Indexing, Google recommended creating a separate mobile version and adding the switchboard tag. The switchboard tag gave Googlebot information that there is a similar page.

How does the Mobile First Index affect SEO?

Generally, the lack of adaptation of the mobile version to Google standards will not impose sanction of the domain in the form of e.g. its full or partial elimination of indexing. However, neglecting the mobile version of a website may result in drops in search results and a lower assessment by the algorithms.

How to prevent this to happen?

Good practice is adjusting the category descriptions so that they display correctly and do not generate problems. It is also worth implementing internal linking in your content. As a result, the Googlebot will have easier process of indexing of subpages. It is also worth taking care of the efficient loading speed of the mobile version, as the loading speed itself is also one of the key ranking factors. To test the speed on the mobile version, use the Page Speed ​​Insights browser tool. After entering the domain, you will get detailed information about the components of the website loading speed.

What if you don’t have a mobile version?

The lack of a mobile version of the domain doesn’t mean that the website will not be indexed, but without a properly implemented mobile version, it is impossible to achieve high positions in search results. Besides that, it’s good to take charge of:

  1. The content on the desktop and mobile versions must be the same
  2. The robots.txt file must work properly for both desktop and mobile versions
  3. Canonical links must be identical on both versions.

To check if the domain meets the Mobile First Index requirements, it is worth using the Google Mobile Optimization Test tool https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly?hl=pl. After reaching home page, you will receive the test results.

Mobile First Index – summary

The technology of websites continues to develop due to requirements of Google. The mobile version of the website is a great convenience for users, so you should not neglect this aspect. Potential customers will surely appreciate the simplicity and convenience of using a correctly optimized mobile version. And thanks to it, you will facilitate our way to achieve high positions in the search engine.

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iCEA Group
Category: SEO
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