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Mobile First vs Desktop First

     
11:53 am on Mar 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google said that moved some websites in mobile first and that would have seen for a while how it went, now said that within a month and a half many other sites will be moved to mobile first.

I have seen that since December, many large sites have lost visitors looking at the alexa charts.

Now do we have websites with 2 different algorithms?
7:22 pm on Mar 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Now do we have websites with 2 different algorithms?
Do you mean, does Google run two different algorithms depending on what device is doing the search? No. Or, at least, they have repeatedly and emphatically always said that there is one algorithm for everyone.

Idle query: Why, though? Search results are affected by any number of variables, notably including your location. Why shouldn't the user-agent be allowed to factor-in too? It's still all one algorithm, in the same way that 2+2=4 and 2+3=5 are the same arithmetical process applied to different inputs.
1:59 am on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Why, though?

I asked the same question once and some suggested (as I interpretded it) that google is too lazy to do it both ways, others suggested that doing it both ways wouldn't produce enough of an improvement to be worth the trouble, and others suggested that google's resources are stretched too thin to be able to do it both ways.
2:07 am on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There has always been only one index. It was the desktop index. Now it is the Mobile-First Index [webmasterworld.com]
1:18 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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why did not they move all mobile friendly sites directly if the algorithm was the same as the desktop one?


I asked this question because I'm comparing many Italian sites through alexa ranking and I'm finding that everyone has been in sharp decline since the end of 2017, the only one that since mid-December is growing strongly is not mobile friendly ..


same period of the launch of mobile first for some sites:

[seroundtable.com...]

[seroundtable.com...]

[edited by: analis at 1:24 pm (utc) on Mar 11, 2018]

2:37 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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through alexa ranking
Alexa ranking data is not an indicator or a reflection of anything related to Google.

The Google algorithm is not a static, fixed "thing", it changes and evolves. That's why the same gimmicks that worked in 2004 don't help much today. Their emphasis on Mobile First indicates another tweak to that algorithm, but it is applied to sites that are 'mobile friendly' and 'desktop only' the same way. Otherwise a site might be forever out of the mobile index by missing that "crucial" date.
3:51 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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None of these excuses are valid.

Someone using a desktop is being shown sub-optimal search results when they are based on the mobile versions of sites. Evidently google just doesn't want to do the work needed to determine the best results to show to each type of user, desktop or mobile.
5:25 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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With the rise of mobile usage over the past decade (such that now the split is ~60/40 mobile/desktop) Google made a business decision.

The prior default was subsequently (after advent of mobile) named 'desktop'. The initial webdev response to mobile was serve same to all or else an additional mobile design served via an 'm' subdomain/subdirectory or .mobi tld. Then came responsive design and mobile queries.

And Google had to make a search indexing/results decision. For whatever reasons (one can guess but guess is what it is) they decided to give give priority weight to site design that rendered well in smartphones.

That is not to say that that mobile friendly weighting couldn't be overcome by other strong inputs, rather that a new mobile friendly one was added. As with other such input weightings it can be changed up or down as tests/results/requirements dictate.

So we still have ye olde desktop design sites ranking high - their other ranking inputs sum to greater than their more mobile friendly competitors. It's always been a total sum game.

If a site looks good in mobile and crap on desktop that is a site design fault, a site UX fail, and a competitive disadvantage, just as much as the reverse.

If your best in desktop design is not ranking as it did perhaps you need to (1) make it so niche valuable and necessary that it overrides the mobile weighting or (2) design the your site to render optimally regardless of device. Of course if competitors are improving in not just be mobile friendly you may be further behind than you realise.

If your site is mobile friendly rendering well on all devices and you are below desktop only sites perhaps you should take it as a hint to up site quality in other areas.

It's an holistic sum game. Yes one can 'win' short term by over developing one or a few inputs but long term it's best to be a good all rounder so that any one change isn't a career ender.

And while Google can be a good traffic referrer never forget that it's how you convert that traffic that is at least as critical. Mobile friendly is just one aspect of being visitor friendly.
5:52 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Some make a fairly valid point that users on the desktop are not always being served the most optimised result based on their device type, but before the rollout of the mobile-first index, the same could be said for users on mobile devices. Google needs to show the most appropriate result for the most popular device type, and currently, this is mobile. Mobile is also still growing in terms of market share.

Mack.
7:26 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well some are still missing the point that google could, if google were willing to make the effort, take account of whether the user is on a desktop or a mobile device, and serve the results best-suited to that device.

I'm not concerned about the site owners -- my sites are responsive -- rather it's the users that are being short-changed. Google could fix this if they wanted to make the effort, but instead they're taking the easy way out.
8:05 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There's nothing to fix aristotle.

There has never been more than one index and there will never be more than one index.
8:37 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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keyplyr -- I wasn't talking about the index. I was talking about the search results. Google could improve them by taking account of the type of device that the user is on.
8:41 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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While I agree there is only one index, I do wonder why there are two display options, with one bent toward little screens and dt allowed only if there isn't a mobile friendly version.

It is a business decision, and one we live with.
8:55 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't talking about the index. I was talking about the search results.
The search results come from the index. That's what it is.
11:23 pm on Mar 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The search results come from the index. That's what it is.

There is a distinction that's often helpful to make, between what's shown in the serps and what Google has indexed but is not displayed. "Noindexed" pages, eg, are in Google's database but are not tradionally considered part of the "search results".

I'm assuming that's what aristotle was talking about.

12:49 am on Mar 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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aristotle said:
I was talking about the search results
Noindexed pages would not be in search results.
11:08 am on Mar 12, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google only maintains one index. But Google serves results that are modified by device.

The index used to be made up of documents served to desktop user-agents. Now it is made up of documents served to mobile user-agents.

The process for returning a selection from the index based on context (including device) is still the same.
 

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