Google’s mobile-first index arrives early — what you need to know
Back in the summer, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes spoke at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle about the launch of the search engine giant’s mobile-first index — whereby websites are rewarded for being mobile friendly in terms of their rankings. During the talk, Illyes said: “We don’t have a timeline for the launch yet. We have some ideas for when this will launch, but it’s probably many quarters away. Our engineers’ timeline was initially end of 2017. Right now, we think more 2018.”
Fast forward a few months though and it appears the original 2017 timeline is back on the table. This is because Illyes announced to an audience at the recent SMX East conference in New York City that the index has begun to slowly roll out to “a few sites”.
While the exact number of sites or which ones are included in the initial mobile-first indexing process switch over have not yet been disclosed, the development does raise a few eye-catching developments for website owners.
Firstly, traffic may be affected for anyone without a mobile-friendly website in the form of negative drops. On the flip side, those who have a mobile-friendly website but operate in a niche filled with poorly optimised websites may in fact see positive increases in their traffic.
Regardless of which category you fall into with the above example, the news that Google’s mobile-first index has officially started should serve as encouragement for all website owners to fix any of their technical mobile-friendly problems to ensure that users can always browse their sites fully.
Google is looking to offer a helping hand with this, thanks to their Mobile Friendly Test and Mobile 3G Speed Test tools enabling you to quickly and easily find out how mobile ready your website is. A blog post is also set to be published by the search engine which aims to assist both webmasters and SEOs on understanding the process behind Google’s mobile-first index.
While we wait for Google’s blog post and the eventual full rollout of the search engine’s mobile-first index though, learn more about creating a mobile site that works for both your users and Google by reading these tips provided by our Creative Director, Andrew Blenkinsop.