What we know about Google’s mobile index
Web pages have always been Google’s best choice when it comes to their source of content. As a result, current content ranked is majorly based on desktop signals and less concentration on the mobile aspect of the same. The apparent neglect of mobile content ranking always results to a poor shadow of a similar desktop content.
However, Google has been working to solve the existing imbalance between desktop and mobile content ranking. The move is in an attempt to improve the solidity of the user experience for mobile users. Such substantial expertise is more than just being user-friendly, it covers all the entire needs are met.
A mobile index
According to Google, a mobile-oriented index is an ideal way to go mobile content ranking. The assumption is that Google will have a different mobile and desktop index, with an algorithm made for both. Recently Google made it known that their current priority is a mobile index. Hence site performances ranking will be primarily based on how the same performs on mobile and not desktop. The move is of great significance since assumptions have already been made regarding the way mobile users relate to web content resulting in precise trends in mobile design, information architecture, and UX. Mobile-specific websites mostly focus on conversion in the old desktop way. The same is achieved through minimum content and minimum distraction. On the contrary, the intended new mobile index will focus mainly on the quality and relevance of the material.
Recently, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, Gary Illyes, had a question and answered discussion on Twitter. The following are the critical points pulled from the debate and their effect on the industry.
What does this mean for sites without a mobile site?
According to Gary, the desktop content ranking will continue existing but with a much lesser value. His tweet reply stated that although it still too early to be definite about how far less, desktop content ranking will be below mobile ranking. By the look of things, the potential of desktop ranking is not all lost, but mobile ranking will be prioritized.
Do we need to modify current rel=alternate / canonical tags?
With the present practice, the desktop version of a page is marked as the canonical form through canonical tags. For any existing mobile version, the same acts as a substitute form through a rel=alternate tag. A new mobile index is likely to exchange the two tags, but according to Gary, Rel-canon will mark the “desktop page” versus how rel-alt marks the “mobile page” presently, however, the results will be mostly mobile. The statement makes sense switching between the two would take forever.
Will content elements such as tabs and accordions be devalued on mobile as they are on the desktop?
For a while now, content not present to desktop users when a page renders first has always been of less or no value. Google says that if one is not willing to let the user see the content right away, then such content is not of great importance even to the owner.
However, the same is not the case for mobile. A mobile site places content in tabs and accordions in an attempt to boost the UX as well as better use of real estate available. Although the content is of so much worth of being shown to users in mobile ranking, a better and beneficial UX is more significant. The same will be considered in the new Google mobile index, and any content hidden for UX will have full weight.
Using the word ‘shrouded’ at that point made the discussion twist towards concealing content entirely on mobile with no real way to see it. Content in a tab or accordion that can be clicked to get to is not covered up all things considered. I would speculate content wholly covered up will keep on being disregarded as it is inside the present desktop index.
Asked about the effect of load speed and the appropriate browser settings to test, Gary said that Google is still considering what more they can do concerning speed front. It would bode well for speed to affect mobile clients. Amp is halfway about enabling creating nations to encounter the portable web. Such is reasonable as the rate is a significant piece of mobile experience and adding multifaceted nature to such pages will affect general speed; hope to see significantly more destinations move to AMP.
Is there a confirmed launch date?
The exact launch is not apparent given that Gary did not expand on the issue. However, the start is expected in months as initially proposed.
Does this impact you?
Those that have a mobile site serving users in an exact way as a desktop site will not be significantly impacted. Content owners who have taken into consideration the new UX expectations particularly will not be affected. For others, it would be advisable to put more effort into putting up mobile sites running equally well on the desktop sites. The primary areas to pay attention are UX and design as well as the right information architecture.
I likewise expect this and the as of late declared standards concerning pop-ups and interstitial pages to positively affect the mobile web in general. More or less, influence the best site you can for your target group to associate with on whatever gadget they pick. These remaining parts the best exhortation and it’s probably not going to change.