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March 16, 2017

Mobile-First Indexing – How To Prepare Your Business

Back in November, Google announced that they were beginning to implement a mobile first index and carry out a range of experiments, due to the large number of people searching on Google using a mobile device. It was back in 2015 when mobile began to take over, and now Google are considering mobile as a hugely important factor in their search algorithms. Google will be rolling out this update over the next 12 months, and it is important to consider how much of an impact this will have on your business.

smartphone-1894723_960_720 (1)How Does Mobile First Indexing Work?

Google has acknowledged that its goal is to improve the experience of users, on both desktop and mobile. Up until now, the search engine has prioritised analysis of the desktop rather than the mobile version when it comes to SERP rankings. Google will be indexing on one page, rather than having a separate mobile and desktop index – but it will now begin to place more value on mobile pages when it comes to determining SERP positions and indexing a site. This is why it is important that your business is prepared, as even if you have carried out some form of mobile optimisation in the past, there are a lot of things to consider.

What To Expect from Mobile First Indexing

There are a number of different ways that mobile first indexing may affect a site. Firstly, the rankings of a website that does not offer a flawless user experience on their mobile site will be affected. Mobile SEO will need to become a business’ priority, and while Google will still be indexing desktop sites, you may find your site’s SERP rankings severely affected if you do not have a responsive mobile version. If however, you already have a responsive website that is of the same design, structure and has the same content as your desktop, which also adjusts to a number of different screen sizes and devices properly, then you will not be affected by the switch to mobile first index.

Optimising Your Site For Mobile Indexing

mobile-devices-2017978_960_720Search Engine Watch produced a list of how to optimise your business for mobile indexing, and you can follow this in order to optimise your mobile indexing. The features listed below are only a small fraction of some of the work that may be needed on your mobile site in order to ensure that your site’s mobile version appears on the mobile first index.


  • Mobile Responsiveness – If your site is highly responsive and matches Google’s standards, then getting your mobile site indexed may not be far away.
  • Mobile Site Configuration – if your content and markup is different on your desktop and mobile site, then you’re going to need to make a few changes in order to have your site ranking on Google’s mobile index.
  • Structured Data Testing – It is important to run structured data tests for both your desktop and mobile URLs. Compare output and then adjust any errors.
  • Canonical Links – While Google will continue to use canonical links as guides in order to provide the most relevant search results for desktop or mobile users, knowing more about your site’s canonical links can help to get a better idea of your site’s success.
  • Building A Mobile Site – If you’re considering building a separate mobile site, then you will want to ensure that it is fully complete and of high quality rather than launching too soon and dealing with errors along the way. Google will still be indexing desktop sites, so you have time to get your mobile site perfect before launching.

There are a number of other things to consider when it comes to optimising your mobile site for the new mobile first index. Get in touch with a member of our expert team today, to discuss your options and how we can help you benefit from the switch to mobile first. Call us today on 01245 287 864.



Sophie Brannon

With a background in multimedia and music journalism, Sophie’s writing is as rich and varied as her iTunes library. While her passion for writing led her to seek the challenges of writing for a broad range of industries, Sophie continues to refine her skills with her camera in hand. Whether that’s pursuing her travel journalism or interviewing bands at festivals and awards, Sophie’s musings can be found across the web. When Sophie isn’t behind a keyboard, she can often be found jetting off around the world, or cuddling her collection of pet reptiles.

Email s.brannon@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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