Google Takes Another Step to Mobile-First Indexing
Mobile phone use has officially overtaken the desktop for surfing the internet to research businesses and products. Google’s move to use mobile-first indexing for over half the web pages shown in its search results globally means that your site must be responsive if you want clients to find you.
Google first outlined its efforts for mobile-first indexing in 2016 stating it would use the mobile version of a website to index pages for search results. Sites that don’t use responsive design are seeing two problems. The first is when sites use structured data on their desktop sites but not on their mobile sites Structured data is important because Google uses it to understand a website’s content in enhanced search results through Knowledge Graph results, carousels and more. Another problem arises when mobile sites are missing the alt-text for images that help Google index image content.
Google states that a site’s mobile-friendly content will help it “perform better” in mobile search results. Mobile-friendliness has also long been one of many factors in determining how a site is ranked, but it’s not the only one. Although Google assures site owners that non-responsive sites that aren’t optimized for mobile users will still rank in results for now, it’s clear that responsive web design is a critical piece for any business website.