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In the last 12 months there has been a lot of speculation about when and how Google will switch its index to Mobile-First. Many responsible persons are unsettled by the Mobile First Index and do not know whether they need to take action. In this blog post I will try to answer this question.

WHAT IS THE MOBILE-FIRST-INDEX?

The Mobile-First-Index now indexes the mobile version of a website and evaluates it for the organic Google ranking. Until then, Google looked at the desktop version of the respective website and determined the ranking based on it. It is called “Mobile-First” and not “Mobile-Only”, because the desktop version will continue to be indexed if the website does not have a mobile version, which will of course entail ranking losses.

WHEN DOES THE MOBILE-FIRST-INDEX OCCUR?

On December 18,2017, Google announced via the Webmasters Blog that the Mobile First Index had already started. However, this only applies to a handful of websites, which will now be observed for the next few months. On 22.02.2018 it was confirmed that the Mobile-First-Index will now be rolled out to other websites. According to Google, this is done in smaller steps so that the effects of the update can be investigated in detail. Google also wants to give website operators some time to get their website “Mobile-First-Index-Ready”.

HOW CAN I ENSURE THAT MY WEBSITE IS CRAWLED CORRECTLY?
As long as it is a response website and the dynamic delivery is correct, Google believes that there is not much more to do.

IN PRINCIPLE, THE FOLLOWING POINTS SHOULD BE OBSERVED:

The mobile version of the website should have the same high quality content (text, images with ALT attributes) as the existing website.
Meta data, such as meta-description and page title, should be played out for both desktop and mobile versions.
Structured data, such as rich snippets or rich cards, should be built in and played out on both the mobile and desktop versions of the website.

MEASURES THAT HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT ON THE MOBILE GOOGLE RANKING

Regardless of the Mobile-First index, there are other factors that have a positive effect on the Mobile-Google ranking and should therefore be optimized.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): With AMP, existing sub-pages that are stored in the Google cache are displayed separately. The respective page is reduced to the minimum. This results in a faster presentation of web content, which is usually rewarded with a better organic Google placement.

Loading time of the mobile website: The fact that the loading time of a website has a significant influence on the user experience and the organic placement should be known recently. In order to optimize the loading time of a web page, an audit of the loading time should be determined first. Usually too many uncompressed images are the cause of long loading times.

Frequently asked questions about the Mobile First Index:

My mobile website has less content than the desktop version. Can this cause problems?

This is likely to cause problems. Since the Google crawler mainly crawls the mobile version of the website, it will not be able to see the content of the desktop version and will not be able to include it in the ranking.

When will the final roll-out of the Mobile First indices take place?

Google has not yet announced an exact date for the roll-out. It can be assumed that Google will roll out the update step by step. This will certainly take until the end of the year (2018).  

How can I make sure my website is optimized for mobile devices?

It is generally recommended that a Responsive-Website should be used. Furthermore, the loading time of the website should be considered, this can be tested with the loading time analysis tool of Pingdom. The next step would be to check if your website is optimized for mobile devices. You can test this here.

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Tobias Dziuba

Mein Name ist Tobias und ich schreibe auf dieser Seite über Digitale Marketing Trends.