As we step into 2024, the digital landscape has evolved tremendously, with mobile-first indexing by Google completing its nearly seven-year journey. This monumental shift, commenced by Google back in November 2016, reached a pivotal point by December 2018 when half of all sites in Google’s search results were indexed through mobile-first indexing. The essence of this initiative is straightforward yet profound: Google now primarily crawls and indexes websites based on their mobile versions.
Correspondingly, Google has also adjusted its Search Console, phasing out the indexing crawler information for desktop versions. This move signifies the complete shift towards mobile-first indexing and the diminishing role of desktop-only site analysis.
Why Is This Important to Know?
The transition to mobile-first indexing, announced in early March 2020, was set with a deadline initially for September 2020, later extended to March 2021. This transition underlines a critical reality for your business: the importance of optimizing your website for mobile devices. In a world where most internet users access information via smartphones, a subpar mobile experience can significantly hinder a brand’s online visibility and user engagement.
Businesses that have not audited and/or updated their website within the last three years face the risk of falling behind. A website experience, considering the latest mobile-first indexing criteria, is not just about staying relevant; it’s about seizing a competitive edge. It’s about ensuring that your brand’s online presence is optimized for the majority of your audience who will likely interact with your content through a mobile device.
The completion of Google’s mobile-first indexing marks a new era in digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). For brands looking to thrive in 2024 and beyond, an audit of their website’s mobile experience is not just recommended; it’s imperative. The audit will not only let you see how your website aligns with Google’s indexing standards but also show you what you can do to improve your brand’s website experience and remain competitive in a digital-first world.