Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.225.54.120

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & andy langton & goodroi

Featured Home Page Discussion

Are you ready for the Mobile-First Index?

     
11:04 am on Jul 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


What is the Mobile-First Index? The mobile-first index is a change in the way Google is going to index content.

Currently, Google looks at the desktop version of a site and then bases how it will rank the mobile site according to that information. Once this update rolls out, the opposite of that will happen. Google will begin looking at your mobile site and from that, will rank the desktop site.

[searchenginewatch.com...]

Google estimates the Mobile-First Index will be in effect by the end of 2017.
1:48 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


"If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site."

I answered that 25 posts ago
dolcevita - that article is close to a year old. Things are moving forward. Yes, it's true. If you have no responsive version, your desktop site will be used for ranking, even after the Mobile-first Index goes into affect.

All indication is desktop only sites will not get the ranking boost that responsive sites will get.

But know that you'll need a responsive layout to be included in the index at some point. No one really knows how long, but why wait? Be proactive and get it done
So yes, for now your're OK. Of course things are changing fast.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if desktop-only sites eventually get purged from the mobile index. One thing is for sure, the Google Search Index will have many upcoming changes, including possible HTTPS only.
10:51 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 17, 2005
posts:293
votes: 19


keyplyr - Nobody knows what gonna happen in future and how fast . Google is very careful about this and i believe and know for sure that once it become stable then we will see many major changes in future faster.

But you can read below (barely a month a go / June 2017):
[searchengineland.com...]

Gary Illyes also emphasized that Google wants to roll out the mobile-first index in a way that doesn’t hurt non-mobile-friendly sites, and that could make a complete launch take even longer.

“We’re thinking about how we can make sure we only include in the mobile-first index sites that won’t be hurt by the mobile-first index. The longer time frame can be several years — maybe five years — before we reach an index that is only mobile-first,” he said.

Much as he did at SMX West earlier this year, Illyes repeatedly told webmasters, “don’t freak out” about the change to a mobile-first index. He says Google plans to be very proactive in talking with webmasters about it."

Another aspect is that we must not forget and Google know it to that at this moment conversation rates on desktop is 3x-4x higher than on mobile devices:

[smartinsights.com...]
[appinstitute.com...]

Maybe i'm old-fashioned guy (and i really thought i was before i saw statistical numbers from the links above :) ) but if i gonna to buy something then i'll do it always via desktop. Not mobile (only if there is not any other choice)
3:58 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2998
votes: 527


But my main takeaway since this was announced 9 months ago was that anything non-responsive was going to be second-class at best.

I've never had that impression at all. Google has said that the responsive option is the safest choice because (among other things) errors are less likely to occur. (For example, there's no need to worry about broken or missing link rel="alternate" and link rel="canonical" links or glitches with dynamically-served pages that are dished up differently according to the viewing device.) But that isn't the same as implying that "anything non-responsive" is going to be "second-class at best."

In a FAQ about the mobile index at Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz made another point: With a responsive approach, "the content is the same on a page-by-page basis from your desktop to your mobile site." In other words, if you're serving up skimpy mobile-only versions of your desktop pages, you might be at a disadvantage.

[searchengineland.com...]

On the flip side, it would seem to me that, if a separate but equal mobile version of a desktop page is optimized for fast loading (beyond what a responsive layout could achieve), that could work to your benefit when Google begins relying more heavily on the mobile index.
4:03 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

New User from IN 

joined:July 14, 2017
posts:1
votes: 0


It is glad news. Looking forward to the updating for strengthening AMP in search.
7:31 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


Hi Crysty and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

Yes AMP pages should find themselves right at home with the Mobile-first Index, but those who built minified versions of their content using AMP might choose to rethink that.

Since ranking & search relevancy will now come from mobile pages, full, rich quality content should be present to further that end.
7:41 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 1, 2016
posts:1127
votes: 329


but those who built minified versions of their content using AMP might choose to rethink that.

I'm not so sure, AMP is very much intended to be a stripped down experience. It is only truly intended for landing pages, because after that any all interaction no longer take place from the Google cache. And the cache provides much if not most of the benefit.

It is also being promoted as sort of interface between apps and search. Where AMP content will be found in the SERPS but after the first page load the user will be directed into the app (PWA's).

I think that AMP brings a level of complexity to the whole mobile first index thing.
7:44 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 12, 2006
posts:2637
votes: 89


In other words, if you're serving up skimpy mobile-only versions of your desktop pages, you might be at a disadvantage

this is why i think they will eventually personalise their 'mobile-first' SERPs so you get what's best for your device. a lot of websites these days seem to be overly tailored towards mobile. when you visit on a desktop monitor all you get is acres of space, and huge gigantic pictures that are obviously meant to be seen on a smaller screen. if google just serves up these mobile sites for everyone then i don't see how they'll be delivering the best results.
8:02 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


if google just serves up these mobile sites for everyone then i don't see how they'll be delivering the best results.
That's not what the algo update is about. Of course users will be given the correct viewport per device. It's already "personalised." That won't change.

It's just that the user base continues to move toward a mobile world with less & less importance on desktop, so the index will reflect that.
8:10 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member editorialguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 28, 2013
posts:2998
votes: 527


a lot of websites these days seem to be overly tailored towards mobile. when you visit on a desktop monitor all you get is acres of space, and huge gigantic pictures that are obviously meant to be seen on a smaller screen.

Not just gigangic pictures, but gigantic type, too, in some cases. Still, that's probably no worse than the teeny-tiny sans-serif type that was de rigueur in certain techie circles a few years ago (probably because that's what so many CMSes served up out of the box.)
8:54 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 9, 2011
posts:14031
votes: 521


huge gigantic pictures that are obviously meant to be seen on a smaller screen
That may end up working against a site if, as so often happens, the same vast image file is sent out to everyone, and it's then resized in html and/or css. Download time--and bandwidth--tend to be bigger issues for mobiles than desktops.

Not just gigan[t]ic pictures, but gigantic type, too
Show me a site using gigantic type by default, and I'll show you a site that hasn't grasped the purpose of the "viewport" meta. I believe it's the very first thing on Google's instructions.

:: detour to check ::

Heh. I thought I was making that up, but yup, there it is [developers.google.com].
9:01 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


Yes there are poorly constructed mobile sites. With the current index, those awful mobile sites could rank well if their desktop equivalent did well.

The upcoming Mobile-first Index will deal with those more efficiently since ranking will now be from the mobile version.
4:18 pm on July 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 17, 2005
posts:293
votes: 19


One wrong move from Google in their mobile first experiment and Bing wait own chance to take things over from Google.It is riskant and big challenge to Google.
6:10 pm on July 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


Ha, depending on one's perspective, Google makes "wrong moves" all the time and Bing still dwarfs by comparison.
11:09 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:836
votes: 70


At what screen size does google mobile first look at? I ask this because some elements are left out in responsive design on small screen sizes (ie a mega menu)
11:55 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


At what screen size does google mobile first look at?
AFAIK "screen size" is a common term, but it really comes down to how many pixels does the viewport render on the device:
[deviceatlas.com...]
[screensiz.es...]

So if your responsive markup crams too much into a smaller display, then Googlebot will likely demote ranking because the rendering is poor: [testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com...]

Googlebot keeps changing how it looks at mobile pages, so some of the older discussions here and elsewhere are a bit obsolete.

Phones are larger now, and *may* get larger yet. Most newer phone screen sizes are at least 5.5" wide rendering at least 1080 x 1920 pixel (mine is 5.7 and 1440 x 2560)
some elements are left out in responsive design on small screen sizes (ie a mega menu)
Hence the advent of the mobile hamburger. Google seems to just want the main topic pages nowadays anyway. Many here report they've been losing indexed pages, and this may be why... in preparation for the Mobile-first Index.

Also consider, phones have that *trend factor* that most desktops or even laptops don't have. Users buy new devices more often. These devices will continue to move forward with technology and *gimmicks* so mobile indexing changes will likely continue to accelerate.


- - -
3:03 am on July 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 14, 2011
posts:836
votes: 70


Thank you keplyr for your reply, is there a definitive size that Google considers mobile? Then we can all work to that size. It's a simple question what is the screen size that Google considers mobile, not helpful if they keep changing their mind.

I did indeed test with Google [testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com...] and it gave a conflicting opinion than pageinsights and pingdom and actual human test, not too impressed, who needs net neutrality when Google will unfairly penalise sites because their tools are weak. 7s on one site the tool said yet it loads on my phone in under 2s.

I do use the hamburger menu for mobile already on responsive sites but still elements of the mega menu such as image links are left out.

Google seems to just want the main topic pages nowadays anyway. Many here report they've been losing indexed pages, and this may be why... in preparation for the Mobile-first Index.


I have been looking into this and I would say at this stage its inconclusive, but excluding high traffic content pages may be a revenue generator. I can confirm pages excluded were responsive and jumped through all their hoops.
3:25 am on July 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 26, 2001
posts:9649
votes: 483


is there a definitive size that Google considers mobile?
That's the same question that was answered.

It's not so much that "they keep changing their mind" but more an issue that the web is in a constant state of transition. Google tries to keep up with this, but it's user driven.

Then we can all work to that size
A couple years ago the Google mobile bot would check for 640 width since that was the common screen width if most phones.

Nowadays, it's not so much a screen width as it is how the viewport renders the content in relation to the screens resolution (as I said earlier.)

Make your pages responsive so your content fits *all* screen sizes.
9:07 am on July 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 11, 2008
posts:1482
votes: 168


Make your pages responsive so your content fits *all* screen sizes.

We've made an effort to render at 480 width, but I'd say we're pretty unusable at below 640.

We also have made some decisions about ATF content from 640x480 up. (Also 480x640, but with limited success)
@EG:
But that isn't the same as implying that "anything non-responsive" is going to be "second-class at best."

For mobile, it isn't. But we don't sell on mobile, being technical and/or complex and relatively expensive.

For Desktop, if you want fair value, it NEEDS to work on mobile too. Anything else is... well, I said second-class, but I'd accept "unnecessarily high risk".
This 78 message thread spans 3 pages: 78