Gears are chugging away in our workshop, while we work to curate the best tips and tricks that will help you blog better, and more efficiently. In the midst of things, although this was quite expected, Google has announced the mobile first index.
Google has been tweaking the snippets algorithm during the month of November, with an update appearing on November 10th, and a rollback happening on November 18th. While this can get a little technical, if you’re not into search engine optimisation, commercial blogging is basically aimed at improving the number of hits your sponsor gets into his marketing funnel.
What is mobile first index?
In order to understand the transition we are going through, it becomes important to understand what is a mobile-first index. In short, Google will crawl and index the mobile version of your site as its primary source for content and ranking signals for your site. Before, Google did this on the desktop version of your site.
Google says they "primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in results."
So what does it mean for you as a blogger?
The answer for this comes from one of the presentations made by a mobile-app designer. Considering the unique nature of the work we are doing, it is imperative to understand that web-content or blogging is typically done on a desktop computer.
Create on desktop, consume on mobile
That’s the mantra for majority of the content today that is being generated via blogs. We are investing time to program our websites and applications on the desktop computer, and the consumption of all created content predominantly happens on the mobile.
This means, that the content you create is basically unaffected by the change in algorithm. And if you are creating the content on your desktop, you wouldn’t even feel the difference. The problem gets created if your website or blog is not mobile ready.
What does this mean?
It means that you should be using a mobile-ready platform for your website or blog, that allows consumers to view your content over mobile browsers. While most mobile browsers are able to view even traditional websites, Google indexing is going to target those websites that do not have responsive or fluid designing built into their programming.
How can you check this?
Google provides you with a free test link which you can use to check your website or blog.
What if the test results are negative?
In some cases, it is possible, your website’s code was designed for mobile, but it fails the Google mobile friendly test. It could be possible, if there are bugs in your website, or code that is preventing Google from reaching the mobile version of the website.
In other cases, where the test could fail is if you are using a dated theme on your blog, which is not mobile friendly.
In both cases, you need to review your theme options and upgrade your website or blog to a mobile friendly theme.
Google has made it clear that 100% of indexing, starting December 2016 onwards will be done using the mobile first indexing algorithm. So if you are a blogger, or webmaster, your content’s visibility for Google snippets is going to fall drastically if you are not prepared. It is time to change now.