Back in May when we discussed how Google’s mobile-first indexing may affect your company’s search rankings, we said that if your company’s website was designed to be responsive – that is, to accommodate both desktop and mobile devices – then your website should not be hurt by this shift in the way Google indexes. If your company’s website has not been designed to be responsive, this new way of indexing may eventually render parts of your website, even large parts, invisible to Google searches. Any business that has invested time and money in creating content will want to address any issues before the final deadline.
This week John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, confirmed that Google intends to roll out mobile-first indexing in phases and will warn companies that will be negatively affected if they do not make changes to their websites. Mueller did not give out specific dates in terms of the timing of these phases, but he did state that Google is gathering and analyzing data in an attempt to make this transition less of a shock. Google will also be publishing blog posts so that SEO experts and webmasters will have advance notice of specific issues and how to address them.
Google will also reach out to websites with major problems to provide information on specific issues with regard to its mobile-first indexing. “Some of the changes are not easy to make, and we want to provide sufficient time,” Mueller said.
The internet continues to change and evolve at lightning speed which is why Google is forcing the issue with regard to mobile devices. According to recent statistics from Mobithinking, there are now over 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide, and in the United States 25% of people who access the web use mobile devices exclusively.
Business owners must understand that a significant percentage of their potential customers will only experience their website (and therefore their products and services) via a mobile device. Failing to update their websites accordingly, then, is shutting the door in the faces of a large and growing audience – or inviting customers to slam it closed. If images or text will not load quickly enough or display correctly, those customers will click out and go elsewhere. In fact, research shows that 53% of users will move on if a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Conversely, shorter mobile device load time translates to higher ad visibility, longer sessions, and lower bounce rates.
It’s not too late to change the design of your website to prepare your business for the changes that Google is planning, to take better advantage of mobile traffic, and to keep your customers on your site long enough to convert views to sales. If you would like help with your new website design, call Corporate Conversions now.