Last March, Google announced that it was rolling out its mobile-first indexing after a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing. The update comes at a time where mobile first is the norm for the majority of users, according the a Smart Insights sudy, 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
But what does a mobile-first index really mean?
The only change is that Google will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content for indexing and ranking. This doesn’t mean the creation of a separate mobile-first index, but the use of the same unique one.
To ensure the best experience for users, as well as site owners, Google is slowly transitioning sites depending on their readiness for mobile-first indexing.
What does it actually change?
SEO and Ranking
Google is adamant, its mobile-first index doesn’t impact ranking of the sites that weren’t yet transitioned or only have desktop content. And although desktop only sites will still be represented in the index, Google is encouraging webmasters to make their content mobile-friendly.
This makes sense since Google launched the mobile-friendly update back in April 2015, which consisted of boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. This update applied to individual pages only and not entire websites and didn’t affect search ranking on desktop devices.
This means that having mobile-friendly content, either through responsive design or a mobile version of your site, is a minimum requirement in a world of primarily mobile users.
Mobile UX design
It is undeniable now that Google must focus on mobile, since the majority of searches come from smartphones and other mobile devices, nearly 60% according to different reports.
Mobile friendly content involves recognizing that consumers interact with mobile devices in an entirely different way. An attractive user interface should be nothing short of being intuitive, relevant and quick. Staying up to the date with mobile UX design trends is definitely a must.
Even marketers need to be able to answer the needs of today’s consumers who are expecting brands to provide a higher quality mobile experience. And they can do so by becoming better at designing more intuitive and relevant customer experiences.
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