Over the last decade, more people have turned to their mobile devices to perform searches than ever before. In 2017, mobile searches accounted for 55 percent of all traffic. With the increased use of mobile devices to find answers to user’s questions, Google is working to release its mobile-first index in 2018- an index that has been highly anticipated for years.
According to Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst working for Google, at the SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle in June the mobile-first index should launch sometime in 2018. This index is different from how Google is currently indexing content in that it searches mobile sites first, therefore if a website gets searched a lot from a desktop, but doesn’t have a mobile website, this index might hurt its rankings. The good news is that if you’ve got a responsive website design, mobile-indexing shouldn’t affect your traffic all that much.
Illyes emphasized that Google is committed to making this transition as seamless as possible, so it may take a bit of time for the index to be fully completed. He even noted that Google is trying to create this index without hurting non-mobile-friendly sites — a feat that seems hard with a mobile-first index, but time will tell. Google is also being very thorough in its communications with publishers about the launch so there are no surprises when it’s finally released.
No matter how prepared Google or publishers are, this mobile-first index is sure to shake things up for SEO rankings in 2018.
If you’re organization is looking to compete in this mobile-first era of indexing, reach out to Cabedge. With years of experience in SEO trends and responsive website design, Cabedge can help with all your needs.