Late last year (2016) Google announced that most people now use mobile devices when using their search index. Also, that they were showing results based on the desktop version of the website. This disconnect between searcher and results led to a complete restructuring of how Google indexes your website in that it will now use the mobile version of your website for interpreting what is important to the people searching Google.
How does this change your 2017 plans?
First and foremost if your website displays content on your desktop version that your mobile version does not, you may need to make some changes. Primarily you need to make sure that you’re showing what is expected when visitors come to your site.
If users are finding your site for a particular set of keyword phrases and only the desktop version of your website shows the information they were looking for, you will likely be penalized.
On the other hand if your content is the same on both mobile and desktop then you merely need to make sure that it is prioritized correctly.
If you have multiple columns your content may break in different ways. If for example you have a left column and a right column, but the primary content is on the right, then it is possible that your primary content will be at the bottom on mobile.
This prioritization of content is important for helping search engines decide what is most important on the page. What comes first, is of course what the search engine will give weight to.
- Make sure both versions of your website serve structured markup.
- Make sure both versions of your site are accessible via the robots.txt file.
- Make sure your mobile version is done before you launch it. Showing the desktop version that works to mobile users is better than giving them partially working mobile version.
As always, put your user’s first. If there has been anything consistent over the past updates to Google’s search algorithm changes is that they reward sites that deliver the information that the user is looking for quickly.
The difference is that now in 2017, and why you need to pay attention to this before anything else… put your mobile users first.
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