What is mobile-only indexing?
Mobile-only indexing means that Google will now only use the mobile version of your site to evaluate the relevance of your page to the user’s search query.
Now, Google used to crawl your desktop site for ranking signals. However, since 2019, it moved to mobile indexing which put more relevance on your mobile site. But there was still a backup to index using your desktop site. In 2021 Google is now moving to only crawl and index your mobile site.
Is mobile-only indexing something you need to worry about?
In a short answer yes! If you currently have a site that is showing different content on desktop and mobile, this content is now effectively invisible to Google crawlers. If you do not want to see your organic SEO take a cliff dive this needs to be resolved.
Why is Google prioritising mobile-indexing?
If we go by the stats, we can reasonably predict you are probably reading this article on a mobile device. Are we correct? According to statistics, 80% of internet users own a smartphone and people consume 69% of the media on mobile. So it is a no-brainer for Google to make this change to mobile indexing.
Houston we have an indexing problem…
If you are not yet prepped for the switch to mobile indexing, don’t panic just yet. You will need to divert some resource improving your site to be ready for the change.
What we recommend you focus on:
1. Ensure you don’t have desktop content missing on your mobile site.
Your developer may have hidden some content on your mobile site to make it more responsive, however, if this content helps with your organic SEO on desktop. If it is not present on your mobile site your organic traffic may drop.
2. Build mobile-first
Yes, you may have already made your site mobile responsive but now you need to ensure that you serve one consistent version of your site to ensure parity between mobile and desktop content.
3. Use Google’s free mobile testing tool
One of the great things about Google is that they do not hide the secrets to ranking well on their platform. If you need a quick place to start optimising your site, use the Google responsiveness tool. It is imperative in 2021 that your site passes those tests.
4. Optimise your mobile site for conversions.
Now more than ever when reviewing your funnel is to consider the user journey on mobile. You have to be ruthless, mobile offers less real estate so you may have many images slowing down the site or an overload of text this can impact conversion on mobile.
5. Don’t forget about desktop.
Despite the move to mile indexing, your desktop site should not become the forgotten child. B2B companies still get most acquisitions from desktop. Most staff in businesses spent their days on desktop and as result look for new suppliers on desktop as well. According to Content Square, mobile traffic accounts for just 17% of traffic for B2B brands according to their 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report.