A lot has been made of Google’s move to mobile-first indexing but we’ve we’ve had to make do without much news on the topic recently as the search giant prepares the switch. However, we now know that mobile-first is fast approaching and that Google is going to roll it out in stages.
In fact, the switch may have already started rolling out mobile-first indexing if this week’s data is anything to go by. So what does this mean for mobile SEO in the near and distant future?
Mobile-first indexing to roll out in stages
We know that Google plans to roll out mobile-first indexing, thanks to a recent Webmaster Central Office Hours Hangout. During the first edition of the weekly session for October, John Mueller revealed that Google is working on a series of classifiers to ensure that mobile pages are the same as their desktop equivalents, in order to prevent any negative effects as a result of the switch.
“These are things we need to test with real content,” Mueller said during the live session. “We can’t just make up pages and say, well, this is kind of like a normal web page. We have to see what happens when we run it with real content.”
He says the classifiers are designed to identify common problems the search giant experiences along the way. The idea is to notify webmasters of these problems so any potential issues can be fixed with minimal impact. For example, sites with one particular problem could be labelled with a code and all sites sharing that code will be notified about the issue. This will prevent webmasters from experiencing negative impacts and wondering what just happened – or perhaps not even noticing them at all.
You can check out the full session here:
Has Google already started rolling out mobile-first indexing?
After years of talk and speculation we know that mobile-first indexing is going to happen soon. In fact, it may have already begun, based on data from the beginning of this week. Webmasters and data analytics are reporting significant ranking changes in Google mobile results.
Which means the first round of mobile-first indexing may already be happening.
It’s too early to confirm anything, of course, but something’s definitely going on with mobile results since the weekend. So keep an eye on your mobile positions over the coming weeks for any significant changes, plus any notifications from Google regarding potential issues surrounding the mobile-first switch.
As always, we’ll keep you updated with any new information as it comes in. Keep in touch with us on social for the latest news on this and everything else SEO/PPC. And, if you need any specific advice on preparing for mobile-first indexing, you can get in touch with our team of experts for some guidance.