With a large portion of search now coming from mobile devices, Google has decided to bring a change in its search index. The search engine will now prioritize mobile content in its results.
It was reported that the company was going to create an entirely separate mobile index, but now it has announced that it will be using the same index as before. However, it will now use mobile sites as an important factor in its page ranking algorithms. Google will now decide the rankings of pages based on their mobile content.
Google product manager, Doantam Phan said,
Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.
There are a lot of limitations to this change, the biggest one being that that sites that don’t have functional mobile versions will lose out, and may turn up much below in search results. This move will bring a dramatic change for users and lean towards desktop websites, and websites that do not have mobile versions. Both will now be compelled to make respective shifts and adjustments. Wesites in particular, will be forced to come up with a mobile version, or risk losing much of their hard earned rank.
According to Phan, this is a big change and will take some time to be implemented in full swing, but for users, search results will get a lot better. Here are some suggestions Google has made to websites, which have primary content and markup as different across mobile and desktop:
- Make sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
- Use the txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
- Sites do not have to make changes to their canonical links; Google will continue to use these links as guides to serve the appropriate results to a user searching on desktop or mobile.
For other suggestions upon this, and many other topics associated with boosting you website rank, you can log on to Google’s Webmasters blog.