There’s never a dull moment over at Google and those masters of search have indicated there’s another change coming for mobile search results.
According to Search Engine Watch, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes, said that the search engine will be releasing a separate mobile index for searchers on mobile devices. The current index keeps a list of websites it’s crawled and some basic information pulled that crawl, like keyword phrases and other SEO elements. Google has been indexing websites since its inception – though there were far fewer sites to crawl back then – but this is the first news of a separation. With this separation, it’s keeping true to its word of honoring mobile-first as the mobile index will be Google’s primary index moving forward.
Why the shift? Well, more than half of Internet searches begin on a mobile device and Google has put a focus on websites offering a better mobile experience for a while now and even encouraging sites to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as well as using a responsive design versus a separate mobile site. Using a responsive website is more important than ever as there’s a very strong chance this new index will only display mobile-friendly links and webpages. Google has indicated it could show non mobile-friendly content if it is the absolute best match for a search query – though you might as well work toward becoming the best match and being mobile-friendly moving forward.
We’ll keep a close tab on this index update and add to this blog when we have more information.