A new era is entering – in search engine optimization. The name for this change is mobile-first indexing. And what does this stand for? OneLine clarifies and makes clear what the special features of mobile SEO are. After all, this type of search engine optimization is enjoying increasing popularity – for one simple reason: the number of search queries that users make via their cell phones is rising continuously and globally. Figures provide impressive facts that prove the end of the desktop era. This fact can be compared to the demise of the digital camera. High-quality smartphones have replaced them in many private households. In terms of search engine optimization, Google has reacted in time. The company is adapting the technology to this change. It is putting mobile-first indexing in the spotlight.
Google acts almost as a synonym for the term “search engine”. Competitors fail to knock Google off its monopoly throne. That’s why OneLine focuses on Google in this article. Already after the first click on the selected hit of a search, users see the content that the search results show them. However, this is only possible if the crawlers of the search engine have the same view as the users. Googlebot acts as a different name for the search engine crawlers. Because the majority of Internet users now use their cell phones to make search queries, a changeover is taking place. Google made a mobile index turnaround in September 2020. Finally, it plays a decisive role whether the user’s screen is the size of a desktop or a smartphone.
Google has been looking at websites analogously to a smartphone user since September 2020. The service company says it has converted about 70 percent of all web sites to mobile SEO by machine. The search engine owes this task to the clever Googlebot. After an automated check, this has determined that the majority of web presences meet the necessary conditions for mobile-first indexing. On the other hand, one-third of current websites are not yet ready for SEO mobile. OneLine explains how website operators should proceed in this case.
The Google Search Console serves as the first, indispensable point of contact. It provides reliable information about whether a website uses mobile-first indexing. In addition, Google supports website owners. It provides them with a useful document. It is called “Best Practice”. The following aspects play the main role:
Some website owners still make a crucial mistake: they use different URLs for their mobile and desktop versions. However, experts advise against this method because it causes inconsistencies. Not even Google is able to balance such website configurations. That is why informed web designers switch to Responsive Design. This method is an excellent technique. It ensures the congruent presentation of web page content with the help of CSS3 media queries and HTML5. Responsive Design is characterized by a decisive advantage: The website design scores with its flexibility and adaptability. In addition, the layout impresses with its universal usability – regardless of whether it is displayed on a computer desktop, smartphone or tablet. Website visitors benefit from short loading times. In addition, readers process the content faster and better. Both aspects act as important ranking factors.
The three Fs also serve as the best possible explanation for Responsive Design, because it stands for “form follows function.” In other words, design, function and content adapt to the screen resolution of the end device. The literal translation for Responsive Design is responsive web design. This design adapts to the circumstances of the website visitor – and not the other way around.
Mobile SEO impresses with an underestimated feature: the maintenance effort of the editorial website content is lower. Whereas a strict separation of the desktop and mobile website version is associated with a high maintenance effort. However, another reason exists why mobile-first indexing is gaining acceptance in practice: Because 100 percent mobile-first indexing is due in March 2021. Hence the question of how website designers should proceed to keep up with the demands of SEO Mobile.
What detail determines whether a mobile-first indexing is crowned with success? – Load time. Long load times are devastating: for the website visitor and the website owner alike. That’s why Google measures load time. The mobile page version serves as the basis. For successful mobile SEO, webmasters check this indispensable detail in their Google Search Console under the category: Extension – Core Web Vitals – Mobile. In addition, a visual inspection is required. This includes checking the existing interstitials. These are pages that require website visitors to confirm their age or allow advertisements. These should take up little space for successful mobile-first indexing.
The differences lie in the display capabilities. Finally, the screens on mobile devices are much smaller than desktop screens. Sidebars as well as extensive menus do not exist on mobile websites. Therefore, there is no obligation for an identical display of a mobile and a desktop version. But the most important content of the website must not be missing on the mobile version in any case. Once there existed significant differences in the display between the two versions. The mobile website did not display all the content. Thanks to mobile-first indexing, this has changed in favor of users. The search engine presents all content. In comparison: Google withheld hidden content from website visitors to optimize their user experience.
Corrected to read: thanks to their website usage, users have replaced traditional search engine optimization with mobile-first indexing. Once upon a time, in order to stay in the market, businesses and nonprofits had to perform successful SEO. An undetectable website was comparable to a non-existent business. Now, in the mobile era, Mobile SEO dominates. Those who deliberately ignore or unintentionally sleep through this change are losing the battle against the competition. Even more: they lose customers. Regular customers and new customers. That’s why mobile-first indexing should be a top priority for all website operators. Because a flawless online presence is now as important to entrepreneurs as the air they breathe.
Google does not make such changes to annoy website designers. Instead, the company’s goal is to improve everyone’s use of the Internet. The push for SSL encryption provides proof of this fact. Everyone benefits equally from innovations. Thus, the switch to mobile SEO is inevitable and acts as a boon for everyone.