Google has a new mobile index are you ready?
Some of you may know Google has been working on a mobile index for the past year and it is soon time for them to release it for the public to use. This is a big deal for the internet, how will it affect you? And how can you also take advantage?
What is the Google Mobile Index
Google essentially stores all or most of the website addresses on the internet and scores the relevance they have to users search via the meta data it collects. This could be the content, images or other data on the website. Currently they collect all this information by visiting the desktop version of the websites. When someone searches on a mobile they use the data they’ve collected from the desktop version of a given website to determine where to display it in the results.
The issue is with mobile being such a different size to desktop, a lot of websites are hiding content to mobile users just to make it fit better and load faster. Google is currently taking this hidden content into account when ranking the website. This is the making of a bad user experience as the user may not find the information they are looking for and Google is all about displaying the best results for the user.
This is why they have been collecting information from a mobile perspective about your website, the mobile index will rank websites from content on their mobile website only, none of the hidden desktop content.
Why is this a big deal?
Google owns a 63% share of the desktop search market but it owns a whopping 95% of the mobile search market making us over reliant on success within it. This paired with the rise of mobile searches increasing year on year and the slow decline of desktop searches makes it very important to all business’ no matter what industry.
What can you do to help?
Get a responsive website that works quickly on mobile – fast!
If you have not got a website that works on mobile you have bigger problems and need one yesterday!
Do an audit of your mobile website
Make sure you are serving the same content on desktop and mobile, content that may be hidden in tabs or accordions is now accepted by Google
Check the speed of your website
Speed is a major ranking factor these days and you need to make sure it is fast especially for mobile, imagine someone looking at you website after seeing a for sale sign over 3g – will it load in under 3 seconds? You can always check this on Google’s speed test tool
Audit your content
Another flag for Google’s mobile index ranking is low quality content, this signals a bad experience. Use high quality local property market content to increase your positions or to maintain the rankings you have in the current mobile rankings
Do not panic and seize the opportunity
Google changes affect everyone, but if you have a mobile website that is fast, displaying high quality content, relevant for the sort of people you want to find your site – you have nothing to worry about. There is actually a BIG opportunity to leapfrog people in the mobile results as there will be some estate agents who won’t be doing anything. So now’s the time to improve your content and website to get an even bigger benefit.