Mobilegeddon, the SEO community’s tongue-in-cheek nickname for Google’s mobile-friendly update back in 2015, helped to set a new standard for mobile optimization. Now, Google is hatching another algorithmic update that could reshape how we think about mobile websites—but could it be as impactful as another Mobilegeddon?
A Briefer on Mobile-First Indexing
Google first introduced the concept of mobile-first indexingback in November of 2016, more than six months ago. So what is it, exactly?
Mobile-first indexing arose in response to new search norms, where more users search on mobile devices than on desktop devices. Because the majority of web users now view content on mobile devices, Google is shifting the way it indexes content. Historically, even after the Mobilegeddon update, Google has looked to the desktop version of a site as its main priority, using mobile versions of sites as a kind of supplement. After this update, Google will maintain its reliance on a single index of apps and pages, but will be looking to the mobile version of pages first—hence the term “mobile-first.”
That may not seem like a big deal at first, but if your mobile site lacks some content that your desktop site contains, it could cease to be visible for your mobile users.
Google has apparently been experimenting with this update for at least six months, so why haven’t we seen it yet? Back in March, Google’s Gary Illyes claimed that while Google wants to launch mobile-first indexing this year, there’s no formal timeline for this process, and it may take several more months before the company is ready.