Google told us at the end of 2018 that it was currently using mobile first indexing on more than half the web pages in its search results. That means that the mobile version of the website was what was analyzed and used to determine search result placement. Now, according to TechCrunch, Google has decided to make mobile first indexing its default model for new domains.
Google: Mobile First Indexing Rollout
The first mention of a mobile indexing platform came in 2016, when the search engine giant announced plans to begin ranking sites based on how their mobile sites were constructed. Since that time the program has made leaps and bounds and is now ready to become the main way Google will rank websites. The company announced that it will be rolling out the mobile first indexing on July 1st. 2019. From that date forward, any new domains will be indexed using the new platform, rather than the older method employed by search robots.
How it Works
When a business owner registers a new domain and submits it to Google to be crawled by the company’s “search bots,” it will be scanned first by the smartphone Googlebot. This bot is specifically designed to look for the mobile website and not the desktop version. Once the information is collected by Google, it will employ its mobile first indexing strategy to analyze the keywords and content of the website to determine where it should be placed in search results. This means that SEO gurus will have to carefully construct the mobile pages of new sites, in order to ensure they get good placement in search results for the keywords they have selected.
Why Mobile First
According to Google, most consumers perform searches on mobile devices, rather than desktop or laptop computers. This was the main reason they began designing the mobile first indexing program. The aim is to improve search for users who prefer their mobile devices, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for. Several years ago, the search engine giant began to give more favorable rank to websites that had mobile friendly pages, making them appear higher in search than their counterparts. The company said in a statement, “We’re happy to see how the web has evolved from being focused on desktop, to becoming mobile-friendly, and now to being mostly crawlable and indexable with mobile user-agents.”
What Does it Mean for Users
The new mobile first indexing initiative has both pros and cons for users and developers. The pros include a better Google search experience for mobile device users, which makes finding exactly what you’re looking for a little faster and simpler. The cons come mostly for site owners and developers who have not yet added a mobile friendly design to their websites. Without the mobile version of the site, it is almost certain that Google will eventually put it in the “sandbox,” a place no site owner ever wants to be.