As promised, here is the second part of the two-part post detailing Google’s new mobile-first index:
Will the change have an impact on how my site currently ranks?
Contrary to popular belief, the experts at Google have insisted on a few occasions that no huge changes to the current SERP rankings should be noticed. They have been reported to say that the overall goal is not to shake up the present rankings, but instead to encourage working toward a more mobile-focused search future. Nevertheless at the time being, it starts to seem very likely that pages not offering high-quality mobile versions will suffer as a result.
When will the changes be rolled out?
All we know at the moment is that the mobile-first index is being put through tests by Google for the time being, which suggests that it might be at least a couple of months before it is rolled out. In additional, it is very likely that when it is finally implemented, it will be in fact rolled out in stages. However, as no official date has been suggested or confirmed by Google, it’s important to be ready for anything and avoid being caught off-guard.
Will mobile-friendly websites improve their rankings?
The quick answer is – no guarantees, although it is quite likely that sites that are created mainly and comprehensively for mobile users will step up their SERP rankings. However, it is also not very likely at the time being that any huge falls or climbs could be seen when the new index is finally implemented.
How can I confirm that my mobile website is being crawled by Google?
Website owners can quickly do that by making use of the Fetch and Render tool in the Google Search Console as the simplest and easiest way of checking that all is as it should be. The tool will allow you to see a rendered result of how every page of your site is crawled and seen by the bots. If there are any issues, errors or omissions in general, you can look into fixing them.
Is it a sound idea to move to a mobile-only web strategy?
For the time being, traditional desktop browsing is still too widespread and popular to be scrapped or ignored completely. However, the experts at Google have made it very clear that we are entering a brand new era where working with a high-quality mobile website will be totally sufficient. When considering the current growth of the mobile web market, it seems very possible that by the end of this decade total desktop use will have reached an all-time low.
If you have any doubts or questions as to the value of your mobile web strategy, now would be a very good time to get in touch with the professionals.