Google has announced that it will soon be switching to mobile first index for cataloguing websites. This mobile first index is not live now, this is the pre-announcement so SEOs and site owners can be prepared for the upcoming change. If you need any help for the upcoming change, please do contact our Head of SEO, Donal Langan firstname.lastname@example.org who will gladly help you.
Google will soon be switching to a mobile first index. This means that Google will be indexing the mobile versions of pages and not the desktop as its primary index. Google has always used the desktop version of a page for ranking, even when serving results to users on a mobile device.
Google decided to change to a mobile first index because we are living in a mobile first world so it makes sense to make this change. Since mobile search share continues to grow – it has been well over 50% for years now – this move is not surprising.
Who does it affect?
Sites which have a lighter/different mobile version vs desktop version. If the content the desktop version of the page does not appear on the mobile page, a site owner could lose traffic to those pages for those keywords. Site owners that serve two different versions of a page, depending on whether a visitor is on mobile or desktop, will need to think about this change and how to react to it.
Who does it not affect?
Sites that use responsive design and have the same content on both desktop and mobile should be fine with this change.
What about desktop?
There will still be a desktop index, but this index will not be as fresh as the mobile index. So Google is not eliminating the desktop index, but the mobile one will be the primary and freshest index.
I hope this helps everyone and by all means get in touch if you are worried or need more clarity. I can help, but Donal above is your expert in this instance.