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What is mobile-first index and how can it affect my sites visibility?

What is mobile-first index and how can it affect my sites visibility?
Alix Foreman
27th July 2018
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Ah, Google have gone and done it again.

An algorithm update - the horror that keeps SEO specialists everywhere up at night. Thankfully, the mobile-first index update was highly anticipated, as the number of users browsing the web on their mobile continues to upward trend.

In fact, it was recently found that 63% of users now access the internet on their mobile. Google’s focus is first and foremost to enrich their users experience - hence the need for mobile-first index.

So what is mobile-first index?

Think of it like Cluedo... In order to solve the game, you have to solve the first clue. Now, in order for Google to determine your site’s ranking – its first “clue”, is your mobile site.

Previously, Google would crawl the desktop version of your site to determine your base ranking and boost your mobile rankings based on this. Now however, Google will primarily crawl and index your mobile site first and in theory, could disregard your desktop site – or favour your competitor’s mobile friendly site.

This is only the case for users searching on a mobile device, as Google continues to follow user trends.

The mobile-first index is a huge clue for marketers and SEO specialists everywhere, Bridget Randolph (SEO Specialist and content writer at MOZ) described the relationship between Google and users as a "waterfall effect." Firstly, users have the ability to search online using their mobile, Google then follows by introducing mobile-first index to benefit their user’s experience – and us marketers are forever chasing Google!

71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business, and you should too! The mobile-first index can have serious implications on your ranking if your site isn't optimised for mobile, or responsive. Our SEO team have already noticed a significant increase in visibility for our clients who have recently opted for a responsive site redesign.

At mtc, we believe the best way to benefit from mobile-first index is to have a completely responsive site. This means that the content on your site remains the exact same across all devices but it will resize itself based on the screen resolution of each device, meaning important calls to action and other features won’t be lost to mobile users.

Just like Google, mtc want to optimise your customers experience online. Let us help boost your digital presence and visibility today.