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As the use of mobile searches continues to rise, Google is beginning to test mobile first indexing.
Until now, Google has generally ranked websites based on the desktop version of your website content, including links and structured data. Now, due to the rise in mobile searches, Google is moving towards ranking websites based solely on the content of the mobile version of your website.
In the event, that you do not have a mobile friendly website, Google will use the content on your desktop website to rank you.
However, due to mobile friendliness being a major ranking signal, there’s a good chance that your rankings and SEO efforts can suffer if you do not have a mobile friendly website.
There are several ways to make your website mobile friendly, such as:
responsive design allows your website to automatically adapt to fit whatever screen size its being viewed on. Responsive web design is what’s recommended by Google. It’s also the most cost effective solution and it requires less maintenance because you only have one website to manage.
Dynamic serving utilizes one website address but delivers different website code based on the device type (e.g. desktop, smartphone) that requested the website. This creates a highly customizable experience for the user, unlike a responsive design.
Some business owners prefer using a separate mobile sub-domain that can have its own unique content for mobile users and separate URLs for example: mobile.yourwebsiteaddress.com. They see desktop and smartphone users as having different needs, and want to optimize the experience such as making key information more easily accessible. Separate mobile websites, however, can be costlier because you need to create, manage and maintain a second website. There are also risks that can affect your SEO if it’s not setup properly.
Google’s mobile friendly indexing is still in the testing phase and it may take months before this change affects all websites. You still have time to make your website mobile friendly. Though Google will index your desktop website if you don’t have a mobile website, Mobile friendliness is a ranking signal that can increase your rankings. So, take the steps now to get your website ready for Google’s final rollout.
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