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Mobile

Google mobile first indexing 2020

Google Mobile First Indexing 2020 >> What Google crawls & How to rank successfully on page 1

Google’s John Mueller explains What is mobile Indexing and How to Ace it.

How does Google Mobile-first indexing work in 2020?

Google recently rolled out mobile-first indexing for all websites and also mentioned it was a big algorithm update where it would influence your rankings on google. What this really means is the google bots will first crawl the mobile version of the website and test/ verify if it works and renders properly. It will crawl all your links and code for the meta bit also the touch ports and rendering on the mobile screen. Once it passes this test, it will be considered in for indexing. Data and metrics from the mobile experience will have more dominance in the algorithm and user behavior, while ranking websites on google.

At the Webmaster talk, John Mueller shared a couple of key insights and how businesses need to adapt to Google’s mobile-first indexing. The foundation, simplified answer to what you need to do for Google mobile first indexing in 2020:

  1. Keep your mobile/desktop rendering simple.
  2. If the content doesn’t load on the mobile version of the site, it’s not going to get indexed.

John answers a lot of questions in the talk and here’s what he said for questions on how google treats mobile first indexing in 2020

“With regards to the different versions on different pages, the thing to keep in mind is with mobile first indexing, we will be indexing the mobile version of the page.
So if the mobile version of your page does not use normal URLs for navigation, then we will have trouble indexing your mobile site because we won’t be able to access those non-URLs to get to your content.
So if the whole navigation on the mobile site is really purely JavaScript-based, you’re swapping out different layers on a page, it stays on the same URL, there are no actual links on this page, then we would probably have a lot of trouble being able to crawl and index that site.
And probably we would not shift that site to mobile first indexing at the moment. But at some point we’re going to make the decision and say well, we need to shift everyone over.
And that will mean we’ll shift your site over as well, even if it’s not ready yet for mobile first indexing.
And if really all of the content on your mobile site is not accessible through normal URLs, then we will drop that from the index.

So that content won’t be shown in the search results at all.

And with mobile first indexing it doesn’t mean that it’ll be dropped for mobile users. It’ll be dropped for desktop users as well.
So if that content is not accessible on mobile, we will not be able to index it.”

The solution, The approach to Google Mobile Indexing 2020:

“So it gets really complicated.
My recommendation for this kind of situation is to try to simplify things as much as possible for your website.
And instead of having three different variations of the same page, find a way that you can use some kind of responsive design so that you either just have two versions, maybe kind of like desktop/mobile combined and the AMP version.
Or maybe there is even a way to move to a pure AMP framework where you essentially use AMP for the whole website.
Because AMP is a responsive web framework, so you could theoretically do that for a lot of things as well.”

Google mobile first indexing 2020 >> Our 2 cents:

It makes complete sense. Google has always put the user first. If over  80% of the traffic is accounted by smartphones, the websites will need to load and function seamlessly on smartphones. I’m not saying desktop is dead – but think about it, why would Google rank a great desktop site that doesn’t render/open on mobile when the audience is on mobile devices.

Now throw in another core algorithm the google released recently, called BERT, that places a lot of importance on user intent coupled with the bounce rate/ drop off analytics data and you understand why mobile indexing is so very important.

What is extremely clear is that mobile-first index is going to be harsh for sites that do not adequately test the mobile versions of their websites or ensure that all their URLs get indexed and picked up by the Google bots.

You need to get the mobile site done correctly to ensure you rank on google now.

Finally, designers will have to stop designing desktop first sites and then adapting to half-decent mobile designs. And instead, start to actually design mobile-first sites.

Here’s the complete talk.

If you need help with your business or brand or want to ensure you’re using best practices to rank on page of google or just need a website SEO site audit report , drop us an email and we’ll get back to you  🙂

Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

How to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

So, How do you make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly?
Here’s the Top 5 Tips to Make your Mobile Website SEO Friendly

 

Lets do this!
You’ve figured it out. You have that perfect idea for a service website or blog and want to hire an agency or start the development in house. You are all set to take your idea to market and you have clear understanding of what you customers need. Here’s a list of top 5 things you need to do it right the first time.

1. Lightning Fast Page Speed

Google loves speed, Customers Love speed. No one likes waiting especially for a webpage to load that they are interested in. In the internet of things, every second counts.
When was the last time you stayed on a webpage that took more than 4 seconds to load.
The quicker the mobile experience, the more engagement you’ll receive. To begin with, analyze every image and every piece of JavaScript and CSS, and compress when needed. Compress larger images when possible; every byte counts on mobile when it comes to speed.
Also, utilize your cache for things that load constantly, such as a logo. When you cache a logo, you’ll save precious download time, which increases the overall speed of your app.
A good rule of thumb is to set all static resources’ cache lifetime once a week. As for other third-party resources like widgets and ads, cache lifetime should be set for one day.
Remember also that lightning-fast page speeds on mobile help with conversion and customer satisfaction. The average mobile website load times for bounced sessions were about 2.5 seconds slower than non-bounced sessions, according to Think with Google.

 

2. Don’t Use Pop-Ups (At all)

Google now penalizes businesses with mobile pop-ups, which was part of the January 2017, algorithm update.
Due to the small size of mobile screens, search engines see these penalties as imperative to provide better UX for users. This should prompt you to limit the use of any pop-ups.
Some pop-ups, like age verification boxes and smaller banners that don’t obscure a large part of the screen, are fine to run. But if a pop-up covers main content or is a standalone one that needs to be dismissed before content is displayed, this will have a drastic effect not only on UX but also on SEO.
Think of how many times you exited a website when this happened. Don’t repeat this same mistake. Design your site to include CTA’s and design your website to include information you’d like to capture through these pop-ups.

 

3. Design for Big Fingers (Yep, Its a thing!)

Your mobile-first design should have touch screen navigation that is easily scrolled with fingers that are either too big or too small.
Think about the size of a thumb and index finger, and make sure your mobile design caters to all for a smoother UX.The smoother the UX, the more engagement, which means the better the SEO.
Here’s the Google Mobile Test Tool

 

4. Titles & Meta Descriptions

If you’re an SEO, you know the importance of Titles and Meta descriptions. If you’re on top of your game, you’ve probably considered testing your Meta’s for Mobile searches. If not, Well…..
Last May, Google increased mobile title tags to 78 characters — eight more than the recommended character count for desktop. But you’re better off sticking to 70 characters, considering you don’t want any title truncated on mobile.
Meta descriptions should also be shorter for a truly enhanced mobile experience. Google also kept mobile meta description lengths to around 130 characters but has since increased the amount of meta description text shown on mobile. Regardless, keep things shorter than 130 characters because Google is known to truncate meta descriptions on mobile.
Yoast (A plugin I highly recommend for WordPress sites) has a perfect solution for those struggling with optimal lengths for either mobile or desktop. Yoast has settings for both desktop and mobile when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions so you can optimize each.

 

5. Simple Design With Clear CTAs

Keep it simple and don’t try to add too much content. Make sure you’re not just adding/ stuffing keywords on a page that go against any white-hat SEO practices. You got want to get penalised by google.
Think with the customer in mind and have CTA across your website where your audience is most likely to convert. Also, make sure all your contact forms are designed for mobile. This is a common mistake among many companies — even enterprise-level companies.
Make sure all contact forms use HTML5 input types, which will automatically register the correct keyboard for mobile browsers, which have various on-screen keyboards for various types of data.

Conclusion

Algorithms are constantly changing to provide a better user experience for mobile users and rewarding sites that have an SEO-friendly mobile design.

As mobile continues its natural trend towards more users over desktop, having a mobile-first design with SEO at the forefront is imperative to success.

Should you have any other doubts or want to add to this, please let me know.