What is “Mobile First”?
For years, Google has organised its search results based on searches made on a desktop or laptop computer - in other words, a device with a full size screen.
Now, however, the majority of searches are made on mobile devices such as a smartphone or a tablet - devices with much smaller screens which are not necessarily the same shape as a desktop PC screen.
If your website is formatted to look good on a desktop PC, and not on a smartphone or tablet, you could be at a disadvantage.
You could be doing really well right now with your desktop website, appearing high up in the search results, but not at all well when your site is shown on mobile devices. Up until now this has simply meant that anyone visiting your website on a smartphone or tablet will struggle to use it properly and probably go somewhere else.
Now, however, things are likely to take a turn for the worse!
Google are changing their famous ranking algorithm to reflect results on a mobile device over and above those on a desktop computer or laptop - this is to reflect the fact that most searches are carried out on mobile devices.
If your site is prominent in search results for desktops, but not on mobiles, you will be penalised because Google is going to place more emphasis on your site’s mobile performance rather that its desktop performance
What does Google Mobile First mean for you?
Here at Eximius we usually build websites that will function equally well on any kind of device so you probably won’t have to worry about “Mobile First” that much. On the other hand, many websites out there, which are otherwise perfectly good, are likely to suffer if they don’t perform well on mobiles.
This means that prospective new customers won’t find your website if they search on mobiles. Plus, once the new “mobile first” process is enforced, they won’t be able to find you on desktops either because your ranking on any kind of search will be adversely affected by your poor performance on mobiles.
This could be a game changer for many older websites leaving them with far fewer visitors than they had before the changes.
So what can be done about my website and Google’s Mobile First?
First of all, find out where you stand. Contact us and let us review your current website and how it performs in search results for both mobile and desktop devices. Depending on the results, there are a number of options open to you. These range from a few minor adjustments through to a complete rewrite of your site, in extreme cases.
Google are being a little coy about the launch date for Mobile First but many people expect it to start rolling out as early as January 2018.