I bet you’re wondering how I knew? ‘Bout your plans to review: Mobile First.
For those not in the know, Google is changing the way it ranks websites on its search engine, giving preference to those that are optimised for mobile.
We aren’t going to go into all the technical details here of Google’s search engine wizardry, but we can give you a short, sharp round up of the very basics of what ‘Mobile First’ means.
We all use Google, and Google uses us, it’s good really, that we use each other. Currently Google is geared up to assist you based upon you using a desktop and results from desktop focussed sites. When it evaluates your page’s ranking in Google, it currently looks at the desktop version of the site.
The same goes for your target audience; if they are using Google to search for your products and services, they will be experiencing results based on the desktop version of your site. This all makes perfect sense unless of course they (and you) are using a mobile device to search for results on the Googlesphere and your website/services are being viewed mainly by people using their mobile devices.
It turns out mobile searches overtook desktop a while ago, with mobile web browsing growing steadily since 2009, then last year the two changed places with mobile & tablet browsing accounting for over 50% of web traffic. So, Google is gearing up to re-address how it fetches data based on us using a mobile device to search. Soon Google will begin to evaluate your page’s ranking based on websites that are optimised for mobile. This is quite understandable as a desktop site may be difficult to view on a mobile device, for instance, if it requires the user to pinch zoom in order to read the content. So basically, if the majority of searches are carried out using a mobile, Google is prioritising this demand to deliver faster, higher quality and overall more efficient search results to its users.
Google needs to be useful to you and your customers wherever you are; on your commute, in the office, at the shops, in your home, on the grapevine and so on, so it is responding to the changes its customers are making. The thing is, we need to make sure our sites and services are ready for this, so that our customers can easily get the information they need. While no exact dates have been given, it seems Google will be bringing this in by 2018 at the earliest. Thankfully, checking your site is easily done, check out Google’s helpful test to check:
If the results are good you can relax! If it seems your website needs a little TLC or MFC (mobile friendly care) then don’t panic! Here are your next steps:
- Check if your content management system (CMS) offers a mobile friendly theme. If it does, consider changing!
- If you don’t use a CMS, maybe you need to get in touch with your web developer. If you don’t have a web developer, or that all sounds like just too much effort, we would be able to help – give us a shout! (shameless plug)
- Perhaps you’re a technical wiz and are up for the challenge yourself! (Here’s another handy link to help with that: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/)