The digital world is fast paced and constantly evolving. Whereas only a couple of years ago desktop computers drove the most traffic to websites, today mobile now accounts for the vast majority of traffic. Google is about to cement the importance of mobile websites by launching a new, separate mobile index alongside its existing index which includes both desktop and mobile search results. Not only is Google creating two separate search results, but the mobile search results are set to become the more up-to-date and, therefore, the more important of the two indexes.
What changes is Google going to make?
Although at the time of writing the two separate indexes haven’t been officially announced by Google, many authoritative SEO websites and blogs are reporting on the proposed changes. It is believed that Google will start rolling out the changes over the coming months and when this happens mobile users will see a completely different set of search results to the results that appear on a desktop computer. This is likely to have a huge impact on the user’s online experience, not to mention massively increasing the importance of having a mobile-friendly website.
Why is Google making these changes?
As a business Google’s aim is to give its users the best search results possible, otherwise users will switch to an alternative search engine. Over the last few years there has been a huge uplift in mobile users, while desktop users have decreased. Google has been responding to these changes by ranking websites with responsive designs higher in its search results than those that only work well on desktops. As the number of mobile users continue to increase, a trend that is set to continue, Google is likely to be taking steps to ensure that its search results are as relevant as possible to its largest online users – mobile users.
What we don’t know yet
As these changes haven’t yet taken place, there is a number of things that we still don’t know. One of the biggest questions that hasn’t been answered is how the new mobile index will work, as we don’t know what factors, other than having a mobile-friendly website, will be taken into account within the new indexing e.g. will content have an impact? As well as this, we don’t know how out-of-date or how regularly updated the older desktop index will be. We, however, do know that the two indexes will be different and that mobile-friendly websites will benefit hugely from the change.
What does this mean for your business?
So what does this mean for your business website? One of the most important impacts will be determined by the type of website you have. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly you could soon see yourself drop off Google’s search results, not just on mobile searches, but eventually on desktop searches as well.
At affinity we are currently monitoring these changes, however if you currently don’t have a responsive website we would encourage you to talk to one of our experts on the best way for you to update your website and ensure that it is Google friendly.
Written by Derin Clark, Content Strategist