Mobile-First Index – What is Important for SEO?

Categories SEO
Mobile First Index

The Mobile-First index allows Google to rate websites with data of the mobile version of websites. Google is testing the Mobile-First index. That is what Johannes Müller told in the Google Office Hours of October 3rd in 2017. This statement might mean that the roll out of the Mobile-First index is getting nearer. But what does this mean for SEO? How can you prepare for the new index?

In this article you will learn, what is important for SEO to prevent traffic loss. Therefore, I explain these topics:

What is the Mobile-First Index?

The Mobile-First index allows Google to rate websites with data of the mobile version of websites. But what is new about that? Until the roll out of the Mobile-First index, Google rates websites based on the desktop version of websites. So, when you search with your mobile device, then the SERP is calculated with desktop ratings.

With the roll out of the Mobile-First index Google calculates SERPs on mobile devices and desktops with mobile ratings.

How Do I Prepare for the Mobile-First Index?

To prepare for the Mobile-First index check how your website performs on mobile devices. Check these points:

Make an audit of your website and answer the four questions. When you can answer every question with “yes”, then your website is mobile friendly. Otherwise improve your website.

Let´s take a deeper look at the questions.

Can My Website be Used on Mobile Devices?

Every website can be used on mobile devices. Nevertheless, you may easily check whether you can access your website with your own mobile device. When you can access your website with your mobile device, then go on to the next point. If not, then check why you cannot access your website with your mobile device.

Note:

Sometimes webmasters forbid user-agents the access to websites. In this case, users with mobile browsers cannot visit your website.

Is All Information Available on Mobile Devices?

All information of your website has to be available on the mobile version of your website. Nowadays webmasters put smaller versions of the content on mobile websites. But it is very important to have all information on mobile websites. Keep in mind that Google will rate the mobile version of your website. So, Google will rate the smaller version of your website. I recommend putting the whole content of your website on the mobile version.

Can Google Crawl my Mobile Website?

When Google cannot crawl your website, then how may Google rate your website? In some cases, webmasters do not allow crawlers to crawl their websites. Webmasters use the robots.txt to forbid crawlers to crawl websites. Check, whether the googlebots can crawl your website this way:

Prerequisites:

  • Download a FTP client.
  • Get the login data to your FTP account:
    • name of the FTP server
    • user name
    • password
  1. Open your FTP client.
  2. Connect to your account.
  3. Open the root directory of your web server.

Here is where you find the robots.txt.

  1. Open your txt.
  2. Search for the strings:

User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow:/

Note:

In place of “Googlebot” there might be “*”. The star means “forbid every crawler to access your website”. Thus, the googlebots cannot access your website, neither.

  1. When you find the strings from step 5, then delete them.

The googlebot can crawl your website. When there was a star, then after having deleted the star every crawler can crawl your website.

Is My Content Mobile Friendly?

There is one simple answer to the question whether your website is mobile friendly. When your website is built with responsive design, then your website is mobile friendly. If not, then your website is not mobile friendly. Google recommends using responsive design for mobile websites.

When you run a WordPress site, then your website is probably built with responsive design. Most of WordPress themes use responsive design to be mobile friendly. Nevertheless, you may check your mobile friendliness with the online tool PageSpeed Insights by Google.

Definitions:

SERP

SERP stand for Search Engine Result Page. A SERP is the page that you see, when you search for something in Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
back to the beginning

Connect to your web server with FileZilla

FileZilla is a FTP client. Connect to your webserver with FileZilla this way:

Prerequisites:

  • Download FileZilla.
  • Install FileZilla.
  • Get the login data for your FTP account:
    • name of the FTP server
    • user name
    • password
  1. Run the FileZilla Desktop App.
  2. Enter the name of your web server in the field Host.
  3. Enter your username in the field Username.
  4. Enter your password in the filed Password.
  5. Click Quickconnect.

You are connected to your web server.
back to Can Google Crawl my Mobile Website?

Mobile-First Index – What is Important for SEO?
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