WordPress Websites and Training - Sara Ohara | Google Will Rank Sites Based on Their Mobile Versions FIRST
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Google - Wordpress Websites and Training - Sara Ohara

Google Will Rank Sites Based on Their Mobile Versions FIRST

Google Updates Search Engine Rules,
Will Rank Sites Based on Their Mobile Versions First

by Catalin Cimpanu

ALL WordPress Website are Mobile-Ready!

Google announced on late Friday afternoon plans to use a website’s mobile version as the primary content source for ranking sites for its search engine’s results, in a move that its engineers have hinted at for the past year at several SEO conferences.

A few years back, in order to encourage webmasters to support mobile versions of their websites, Google started adding a “Mobile Friendly” tag next to certain search results and later started ranking these sites above desktop-only content.

Today, most websites are already mobile friendly, and earlier this year, Google removed the “Mobile Friendly” tag from search results, saying that over 85% of the sites it indexes include a mobile version, making the tag redundant.

Furthermore, a market study also revealed that searches from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets surpassed desktop searches for the first time last month, in October.

Google hinted at this change for more than a year

Google engineers also saw this shift in the search market. Gary Illyes, a Google Search engineer, had hinted that Google might split its search engine index into a mobile and a desktop version last year, at the SMX East 2015 conference.

The same Illyes, speaking at the Pubcon 2016 conference in early October, also hinted that the split is closer than most people think and that Google will prioritize the mobile search index above the desktop one, with the first receiving updates and real-time search results before the other.

Google put its official seal on this shift in police on Friday when it said that if a site has a mobile and a desktop version, its Googlebot will look at the mobile version for the latest content.

“We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously,” Doantam Phan, Product Manager for Google says. “We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.”

Some things you should consider

Because webmasters chose to support mobile sites via various techniques, there are a few things that webmasters need to know, according to Google.

  1. If a site is responsive, meaning it serves the same content to both mobile and desktop users, just in a different layout, then admins don’t have to worry about a thing.
  2. If a website uses a filtering system to serve different site versions, with different content for mobile and desktop users, then webmasters need to make sure the mobile version gets their full attention from now on. This includes both content updates but also search engine optimization operations.
  3. Webmasters that use the Google Search Console to get alerts of how their website is fairing in search results should also add their site’s mobile version.
  4. Webmasters using a desktop-only version of their site should be aware that Google will continue to index their sites regardless, but their site won’t show up as high in mobile search results as they do on a desktop.

ALL WordPress Website are Mobile-Ready!

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Sara Ohara
sara@saraohara.com
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