The buzz about mobile websites seems to never stop. This time it’s an announcement from Google that they are beginning to test a mobile-first index.
Google’s index was previously based off the content that it’s crawlers saw when they visited the desktop version of your website. Starting in 2015, they also began checking, and ranking for whether or not that web page was mobile-friendly. However, they were still using the content that they viewed on their desktop version of your webpage.
Now with a majority of their searches being done on mobile devices, Google has been experimenting with making their index base itself off of the mobile version of your website. This mean, the crawlers are basing the content of your web pages from what they see on a mobile device. It uses the mobile version first, hence the term mobile-first index.
What does this mean?
Well, most importantly, Google cares a whole lot about mobile friendliness. So if you’re website is not currently mobile-friendly, your continuing to put your ranking positions are jeopard.y
The mobile-first index will also, by nature, work better with responsive websites. If you only have a mobile landing page, or a “watered down” mobile version of a page, Google’s crawlers are not going to see all of the content on your website. So if your website is not already responsive, you should make it a priority to do so within the next 6-12 months.
If you are unsure of how your web page is viewed on mobile devices, Google has a handy mobile-friendly test tool. This is a good place to start in learning about where your current website stands.