This year Google will create a new way for its Googlebot to index websites; creating the opportunity for better and fresher content for its searchers. The announcement made by Google’s Gary Illyes back in October 2016 should be coming to life early this year.
Because people are using mobiles to search online more than desktops now a ‘mobile-first’ process has been announced by Google. What this means is when Google crawls a website using Googlebot it will make the mobile version of the website the bigger priority. In fact Googlebot will index a website twice and take the mobile version as the main version. This could be the final nail in the coffin for the older websites that haven’t been updated in years and aren’t mobile friendly. This new announcement from Google is a sign of the times; those familiar with their websites analytics will be able to see the increase in percentage of mobile users – especially eCommerce websites.
With desktop browsing taking a backseat it’s become vital to know how your website performs on mobile and what the best practices for mobile are. With the world heading towards voice search and conversational search it was inevitable for this priority shift to happen.
What is Website Indexing
Taking a step back; what is indexing and why does it matter?
Indexing websites is how Google and the other search engines investigate it, finding it and using internal links to crawl across as much as the website as it can. Google affectionately named the algorithm that does this Googlebot. Googlebot will follow every link around the website it can and essentially record all the information it can find be it text, images, infographics or any other piece of information it can read. Using this newly collected information Google is now able to rank the website based on the quality of the content throughout the website.
Because of the new mobile first technique Google will be using to crawl websites ensuring that your website is fully up-to-date and is optimised for mobile has never been more important. A website will be negatively impacted if it doesn’t meet the standard for mobile browsing. As with all things technological this is a standard that is always changing and being modified; from a new way of developing a website to a change in how users expect a website to perform.
Mobile Over Desktop
The new priority indexing could mark the fall of the traditional desktop computer; trends are showing mobile devices are being used more on a daily bases for a wider range of processes. Answering questions, playing games and even banking is becoming more acceptable on mobile over desktop. The ability to instantly get a result from a device that can be kept in a pocket at all times is now a well-known, powerful tool and the change to make the mobile device the priority will be a necessary step for a number of sectors.
Even though Google is keeping the desktop index, it won’t be as up-to-date as the mobile version. The aim is to create a better understand of mobile searches and what content is more relevant to mobile over desktop. As always Google is trying to better the experience for their users and get them the correct results as soon as possible – a task greatly aided by mobile search.