Major SEO Changes Coming: Google Is Set To Rank Sites Based On Their Mobile Version

Since the beginning of mobile web browsing, Google has always been on the cutting edge of mobile search. As more and more people depend on their mobile devices, Google has upped the ante over the last few years. They began by showing different search results based on the device you were using to search with. Then they began penalizing sites that did not have a mobile version or a responsive design, and now they have gone all-in and have announced the plan to rank all sites based on their mobile version.

Announcing the change, Google says:

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, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.

We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.

What does this mean for your business? If your site is responsive and displays the same content to people on desktop computers, tablets and phone, it won’t effect you very much at all. If you present different content, then you may want to reevaluate what content is shown.

If you are a site owner who has only verified their desktop site in Search Console, please add and verify your mobile version.

If you only have a desktop site, they’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if they’re using a mobile user agent to view your site. If you are building a mobile version of your site, 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.

 

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  1. While I am prepared, I think this is a terrible idea. People use their phones on the road to do a few things, then go back to their real computers to do the important stuff. Working with a phone always feels like having one hand tied behind my back. Shouldn’t Google emphasize the important stuff?

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