Google are rolling out a Mobile First Index: Is your site ready?

As Google roll out their Mobile First Index, mobile optimised websites should all see a boost in organic rankings.

Pranita Tamang
3 MIN|January 25, 2017

It’s no secret that we’re in the age of mobile, and following the much-anticipated release of “Mobilegeddon,”—Google’s Mobile Friendly Update—search has, quite literally, gone mobile. But what can we expect from these changes?

Back in November 2016, the Google Webmaster Central Blog announced they were dipping their toes into its mobile-first index, with the intention of a global roll out.

As it stands currently, 60% of searches are made from our mobile devices. It makes sense, then, that Google have begun to give priority to sites that are optimized for phones, tablets and any other pocket rocket connected to the nearest Wi-Fi connection.

Until now, website organic SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position) would be influenced by their SEO, backlinks and quality of content. With the mobile-first index, Google will crawl and then index content that is deemed ‘mobile friendly.’

So, what happens now?

Well, Google will be rolling out this change over the next few months, so no need to panic just yet. However, to make sure that you’re ready for the mobile-first index, there are a number of things that you should consider in the meantime:

1. We’re consuming content on small screens in smaller spaces

With 8 million passenger journeys on the London Underground daily, and 4.3 million people riding the New York subway every day, the way blogs are digested has changed. When you’re looking at your well-constructed marketing content strategy, it might be worth considering what type of content you’re creating. Does it fit well on a mobile screen? Is it easy to access from anywhere?

2. Is your content triggering more senses?

The power of touch screen and assisted touch has pushed content into a new era of interaction. With multiple phone and touch gestures, generating interest and leads is now possible at the touch of a button. If you haven’t already, it might be time to move ‘Calls to Action’ to the top of your next meeting agenda. Basically, your Calls to Action need to offer more than a ‘contact us’ with a link to an email address. Make it easy and engaging for readers to register their interest.

3. People are here for a good time, not a long time

Our attention spans have fallen to eight seconds and it’s looking like that that trend may continue. Here’s a gif of guinea pigs sharing a piece of grass to keep you and your attention span focused.

Mobile first index

The internet generation is a tough crowd to please. It’s therefore key that your website gives your audience what they want, and fast. Having a fast website is no longer just desirable—it’s essential. If your website loads fast and London underground and New York subway riders can consume your content pretty much instantly, then you’re off to a good start. By using Maya, not only can you get a speed measurement for your mobile site, but you’ll know which areas to improve.

4. The GoogleBots are coming

As we’re now all used to, Google sends its bots to crawl your website to determine your organic rankings. If you’ve put in all the ground work to optimize and perfect your mobile site, let Google know! I’d recommend using the Google TXT testing tool to verify that Googlebots can access your mobile site.

5. Users are only responding to responsive

With so much talk of the rise of mobile, it’s unlikely that your site isn’t responsive (your website works across multiple devices). However, if your site only works on desktop, then you need to ensure that your site has responsive design ASAP! If your site works on mobile and desktop, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to make many changes come the Mobile-First index rollout.

Over the next few months, we’ll all see the search results that Google recommends for us are becoming a lot more mobile friendly. Now is the time for you to not only optimize your sites for mobile, but welcome the GoogleBots to your site with open arms (and links) to improve your chances of getting the best index and ranking.

Is your website mobile ready? If not, you have work to do.