Google Starting to Prioritise Mobile First Index

Mobile First Index

From January 2017, Google will start placing more emphasis on reading a website’s mobile sitemap than its desktop sitemap.

Put simply, if your site is not mobile responsive, then you are missing out on some potential search results. Google has announced that they will start to prioritise search results with mobile optimised web pages over non-mobile responsive websites to improve the user experience (UX) for mobile users.

Why is Mobile First Important?

As technology advances, so does the way we consume information and interact online. With that said, mobile searches are increasing year-on-year, while desktop searches are decreasing. For the first time, Google’s Search Chief Amit Singhal reported last year that mobile searches overtook desktop searches. This trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon; it’s set to get bigger, much bigger.

While this trend is undoubtedly growing, there are some industries that are adopting mobile more slowly than others. A study conducted by Hitwise examined hundreds of millions of queries across 11 sectors in the US. They concluded that the fastest mobile adoption is in the food and beverage sector, while banking remains the slowest (not surprising considering the scepticism over cybersecurity and online banking).

Google Starting to Prioritise Mobile First Index

Image source: Hitwise and Search Engine Land.

This information, although focused on the US, indicates the need for marketing teams to adopt their approach and, more importantly, to improve the user experience (UX) and journey of the customer.

What Can or Should You Do?

Firstly, you should determine whether your site is mobile responsive or not, and decide whether you need to make that change immediately or later in the year.

To determine whether your site is mobile responsive, you can check here: Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

Free Competitive Analysis Audit

How Do I Know How Many Mobile and Desktop Visitors Come To My Site?

If you have Google Analytics installed, you can check in your reports. This will breakdown and tell you how many visits/sessions you received by desktop, mobile, and tablet. What’s more, you can even drill down to determine what operating system (OS) they are using, such as Windows, Apple, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry etc.

Next Steps

To find out more about making your website mobile responsive, contact us for a free consultation.

Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.