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What is Mobile-First Indexing, and How Does it Affect Your Business?

August 29th, 2019 by Eric Benamati

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Over a year ago Google announced that they would be rolling out mobile-first indexing. Now, as of July 1st, that new process has gone into effect. You may be wondering what that means or how it will affect your website in search results, so we are hoping to clear up some confusion and inform of you just how this move by Google affects your site(s).

Indexing, What It Means and How Mobile-First Affects It

To start this off, let's quickly go over what indexing is. To briefly summarize: Indexing is the act of the web bots, from google and the other search engines, going through the site and gathering information on each page. Once a page has been indexed, it has various elements that are listed in the ranking section which are aggregated and weighed. Search queries that contain matching content may start referencing your page. Google has some tips on indexing if you are interested in a more in-depth explanation.

So with that in mind for indexing, what does mobile-first mean? According to what Google said in March, it means that the desktop page and mobile page will switch places for the primary source of indexing as well as ranking. The mobile version of the site becomes the primary version, essentially. It's not hard to see why they made this choice, as the rise of browsing the web on mobile devices has skyrocketed in the past few years. This has left people uncertain of how they should handle their website going forward.

How It Affects You and Your Business

So how does all this affect your business and it's current page rating? It doesn't, at least not yet. Google made it clear that mobile-first will affect brand new sites, while old sites will have their pages monitored and evaluated for mobile-first readiness. Once deemed ready, the old web sites will get a notification when they are moved over to mobile-first indexing. This means that the pages you have now on your site should be unaffected by this change.

While that might sound nice, it presents a specific dilemma. Any new website you make could potentially rank poorly in searches if it doesn't work on mobile devices. It also means if you get your site ready for mobile-first before your competitors, you could end up outranking them on searches. All thanks to the new indexing prioritization.

What You Can Do Going Forward

Google has made it clear that they see mobile browsing as the future for the internet, so they are going prioritize those users first; so the sooner you get your site inline with that priority, the better off it will be in the long run. Don't wait for other websites to beat you to being ready for mobile-first indexing. Get your website ready with someone who knows what they're doing, someone like Atomic8Ball.

We have years of experience making websites ready for mobilization and know just how to get your site ready for mobile-first indexing. Contact Atomic8Ball and get started on getting your site mobile friendly today.

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