As 2016 comes to a close and we look forward to spending the holidays with family and friends, it's easy to put off business and marketing decisions until after the New Year.
But when it comes to websites, SEO and whether or not your business gets found online, you may have to make some decisions sooner than you'd like.
Google threw a wrench in the works in November when they announced that they're moving to mobile-first indexing. In fact, recent research indicates that they've already started doing this.
Mobile-first indexing means that Google will primarily use the mobile version of a site's content to rank pages from that site. In other words, your search results will depend on what your site looks like on a mobile phone or tablet.
So what does that mean for your website and your organic search results as Google makes the switch?
If you have a mobile-responsive website, you're fine. Your site shows exactly the same content to viewers regardless of which device they read it on and it's easy to read and navigate on all devices (unless you're using dynamic content serving that presents different content on different devices, in which case the paragraph below applies).
If you have a mobile version of your website, you may be ok. Many mobile versions have different content than the desktop version of a website, with the mobile site often having less information. And that's a problem. If Google's looking at your mobile site and not seeing great content, your site will take a dive down the search results. Check your mobile site carefully - if it's not as content-rich or authoritative as your desktop version, update it ASAP if you want to keep your hard-earned position in the SERPs.
If you only have a desktop (non-mobile friendly) website, it'll still be indexed but Google will be looking at your site as if it's being viewed on a phone or tablet (and that might not be pretty). Two things that are important here are site speed and user engagement / experience. If you're not ready to move to a mobile-responsive website just yet, at least start planning for it soon. And in the meantime, make sure your site is as fast as it possibly can be and that it's easy for viewers on a mobile device to click on links and move throughout the site.
So, as you relax this holiday season, take some time to check your website. If it doesn't quite meet Google's new mobile-first indexing criteria, you know what at least one of your New Year Resolutions should be!
P.S. If you're not sure whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, you can check it here.
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