It's no secret that Google holds the purse strings when it comes to online indexing and search results. After all, the ubiquitous search engine has become a noun and a verb. However, online search activity migrating from desktops to mobile devices is bringing about a change in Google's initial search assumptions. Here is a quick rundown of what Google's result announcement regarding the implementation of a mobile-first index says:
How Google Determines Search Results
This definition is going to require a little explanation. Currently, when a consumer searches Google on their mobile phone, the search result order is based on an index. The index has been developed by Google through a combination of search crawlers, indexing, and ranking. Google ranks different websites based on keywords and content. Part of the search algorithm decides how relevant a site is to the search terms based on these characteristics.
How Google Determines Mobile Search Results
Currently, Google ranks sites based on desktop searches. This ranking is device-agnostic; the results still rank primarily based on desktop index, even if the search is conducted on a mobile device. However, the inclusion of additional mobile keywords that the Google search crawler is looking for may help to give some sites a bump.
How a Mobile-First Index Changes Things
So, Google recently announced that this method of determining search results on mobile devices will migrate to a mobile-first index. Accordingly, mobile search results will be returned based on mobile-focused criteria, including a responsive mobile site, a separate mobile and desktop-based site, and the lack of a mobile site.
How This Affects Businesses
If you don't have a responsive mobile site, make one. This will have the most influence on your business' mobile index ranking over just about anything else. Rankings will still primarily be at the page level; so do your best to make as many of your website's pages mobile friendly as possible.
If you are interested in finding out more about mobile-first indexing or search optimization in general, please contact Energyhill today for a consultation.
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