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It should not come as a surprise to know that the amount of web traffic on mobile devices is increasing, whilst, at the same time, traffic coming from desktops is decreasing. This has been a general trend since the internet has become more readily available on smartphones. However, the problem with this, in the opinion of Google, is that we are now past the point where mobile devices are generating more internet usage than desktop devices. Therefore, why are desktop web pages still used as the prime indexing page to determine the ranking of websites?

This is an interesting question, for which Google are looking to respond by introducing the first ever mobile-index. Previously all pages of a website would be indexed based on the desktop version of the web page. However, as the name states, a mobile-index will, index the mobile version of the web page as the way of determining the ranking of the website. This does make sense, since on average the majority of traffic seeing web pages will be from mobile devices.

However, this is a pretty big change by Google for which website owners need to prepare for. As it stands, a date has not been set as to when the change will be implemented by Google, just that it will sometime soon, possibly in 2018. For this reason, here are some ways to make sure you are not negatively affected by the indexing change:

  1. Make sure your website is responsive – A responsive website adapts its theme to suit the screen size of the device viewing it. If you have a responsive website, then the content should be the same across the desktop and mobile version of the website.
  2. Check if content is not appearing on your mobile site as opposed to your desktop site – A problem that could arise from the indexing change are things called tabs and accordion menus. This is basically content that has to be clicked to be viewed. On desktop websites, it is usually shown without having to be clicked on. For mobile devices, to save space, the web user has to click onto it to read the content about it. The problem with this, though, is that such hidden content won’t be indexed for SEO purposes.
  3. Stay up to date – The first Google mobile-index has not happened yet. However, by staying up to date with SEO and ways to optimize your mobile websites will help you make sure your website is not negatively affected. It is also worth staying up to date with your Google Webmaster’s search console, to see how the rank of your website varies, both in terms of desktop and mobile over time.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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