Google Plans to Divide Its Index for Better Mobile ExperienceNovember 1, 2022
2016 really is the year for mobile. We’re all aware that Google has been streamlining its mobile capabilities over the past year. As we speak, it’s on its way to start indexing search results for mobile separately from the desktop.
The announcement came from webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes (twitter:@methode) at Pubcon last October 13. In addition to dividing its index, Gary shared that Google’s mobile index will be the primary index, while the desktop index remains active but not as frequently updated. No exact date was given, but we can anticipate that it’ll be live within “months.”
In 2015, Google mentioned it was experimenting with the new search index, and with the recent announcement, it appears that the tech giant is finally moving forward with the idea. The goal is to improve mobile experience, as more people migrate to smartphones for most or all of their online searches.
This move is in line with Google’s continuous effort to improve the search experience for mobile users.
As early as 2014, they added a “mobile-friendly” label to their mobile search results. They even rolled out a tool that analyzes a URL so website owners can know if their website is mobile-friendly.
More recently, it has started adding Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to search results so users can choose websites with faster loading pages. Google has long recognized the need for speed. There’s no other way around it; behind every great user experience is a fast-loading website.
All things considered, Google has a pretty good reason to prioritize mobile users, mainly because mobile users have taken over desktop searchers.
The Stats Don’t Lie: The Dominance of Mobile Search
To understand the importance of mobile search and the evolutions surrounding it, look at some relevant figures and statistics:
- Google confirmed that more searches take place on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than on computers. This applies to 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan.
- A survey by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers showed that mobile media time in the U.S. is now considerably higher (51%) compared to desktop time (41%).
- 57% of users won’t recommend a business offering poor mobile site experience, and 40% have shifted to a competitor’s site after such an experience.
- 73% of mobile users say slow loading time is the biggest problem in mobile search. Most users would wait 6-10 seconds before leaving the page.
Customers have spoken and search engines are listening. Users want better mobile functionality and responsiveness, and that’s what Google works on offering.
Looking Back at Mobilegeddon
The rise of mobile eventually resulted in what most of us are familiar with – the mobile-friendly update, or more fondly known as Mobilegeddon.
The algorithm was designed to boost the rankings for mobile-friendly pages, and do the opposite for pages that were not optimized for mobile. Although many believed it was over hyped, a lot of websites experienced the effects first-hand.
According to studies, mobile-unfriendly sites took a dip in traffic by 12% within the first two months of implementation while 46% of non-mobile friendly pages dropped in the results page. In contrast, mobile-friendly sites had an overall increase, gaining 32% more in organic mobile traffic.
For website owners, the implications are clear. If you cannot reach your audience through mobile search and/or give them a better-than-average mobile experience, you’re losing out to competitors who can.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Ask yourself, is your website mobile-friendly? Does it live up to the challenges proposed by users and search engines? Can it compete with competitor sites?
Overall, a mobile-friendly website should:
- Be very easy to navigate
- Load fast on smartphones and tablets
- Look good on small screens
- Use bigger text so users don’t have to zoom
- Separate links far apart enough for easier tapping
- Avoid software that can slow down pages, like Flash
If your website meets these criteria, it will be rewarded with Google’s “mobile-friendly” label. And with significant updates like the separate (and primary) indexing for mobile searchers, it’s clear to see the advantages to running a mobile-friendly website.
How SEO Werkz Can Help
Mobile-friendliness is possible with a smart web design. This is where we come in. As a leader in SEO and online marketing, SEO Werkz uses all available information and tools at our disposal to boost your website.
Using our knowledge of the latest trends, technical expertise, and creativity, we develop a visually and technically seamless website that meets the criteria for streamlined mobile experience.
To get in touch with our experts, call us at (801) 999-1483 for a free consultation, or send your inquiries to [email protected].