Google is going to make a major change in the way it allots search result rankings to websites. It is turning its search indexing system to be mostly mobile-driven. This means that instead of being focused on main desktop sites, it will now shift to the mobile version of websites, explains Techtimes.
Google making search more attuned to mobile
Google is taking several steps to make search more attuned to mobile usage, and the shift to a mobile-driven search index is part of this. It is a wise move since mobile search is becoming increasingly prevalent with the surge of smartphone usage. The company has been encouraging site owners for the past year to implement a framework called “Accelerated Mobile Pages.” This ensures that the time taken by their pages to load is less than it is for standard HTML pages.
With the latest change, Google’s search index will remain a single index of applications and websites, but now the search algorithms will focus more on the mobile version for ranking pages, showing snippets from a webpage or website and indexing sites.
In a blog post, Google Product Manager Doantam Phan said, “Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.”
Over the next few months, Google will administer small-scale experiments, and it will only proceed on fully amplifying the transition to mobile search indexing after ensuring that the shift is a great experience for users, notes Techtimes. So far, Google has managed to only slightly toy and experiment with the shift, so some time will be needed for the transition before it could go into full effect. For people and organizations building mobile versions of their websites, Phan has a piece of advice.
“Keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site. It’s better for you to build up your mobile site and launch it when ready.”
Instructions to webmasters
Google has issued instructions to webmasters to help them adjust to a mobile-driven search indexing system. No changes are necessary for those with responsive or dynamic serving sites which have an equivalent primary markup in the mobile and desktop versions.
Sites with a different markup for mobile and desktop counterparts will be required to make a few changes/additions. Such sites will need to make sure that both desktop and mobile versions serve a structured markup. This can be checked with the help of Google’s structured data testing tool.
If the mobile version of their site is accessible to Googlebot, then they will be able to use another tool for testing, notes Techtimes. Also verifying the mobile version of their site with Google’s Search Console will prove useful if it hasn’t been done already.
Site owners who don’t have mobile versions of their websites need not worry as Google will continue indexing their site even when accessed from a mobile platform.