Google's Advising To Make Websites Responsive
The Answer To Google's Upcoming Mobile-First Indexing Update Is "One Responsive Website"!
Revised October 19, 2017
Originally Published October 18, 2017
As of September 2017, Google began advising to make all websites responsive in preparation for their 2018 release of their Mobile-First Indexing update.
"Here are some recommendations on how to move from separate urls to one responsive URL in a way that gives your sites the best chance of performing well on Google's search results."
- Google Webmaster Central Blog
While we've been writing about the need for one responsive site, versus two separate desktop and mobile sites since Google's first announcement in 2015; website owners are now down to the wire, and must heed Google's warnings to maintain their search ranking.
Google expects to release their latest "Mobile-First Index" update in 2018.
What Is Mobile-First?
Most are probably aware of Google's Mobile-First Ranking initiative that's been in place since late-2016, and closely following their 2015 mobile-friendly announcement sparking "Mobilegeddon 1.0 & 2.0".
- What Mobile-First Ranking means: any website that is mobile-friendly (all other factors being equal) will rank above another site that is not mobile-friendly.
- Now, what the upcoming 2018 Mobile-First Index update means: Google will begin indexing the content of mobile-friendly sites, in preference of content found on the desktop version of the site.
- For those businesses that have a mobile-only, and a desktop site: they need to combine them into one responsive website.
How Will Mobile-First Affect Search Results?
Even after Google implemented their mobile-friendly requirements, they historically still indexed the content of the main desktop websites as their basis for search results. Mobile content was merely used as a supplement, if at all. However, this will no longer be the case.
After the 2018 update, Google will use the mobile site's content as the index of preferred search ranking material.
This means that if the company's mobile version of the website has minimal content compared to the main desktop site, then the website's ranking could decrease in natural/organic search results.
Because over 80% of all searches are now done on mobile devices, Google warned late 2016 they were heading in this direction:
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