On March 26, 2018, Google quietly rolled out the mobile-first indexing update to its search ranking algorithm. Of course, the Mountain View company performs hundreds of algorithm updates each year, most of which are small and insignificant. However, this update is expected to have a lasting, influential impact on Google’s search results. So, if your business relies on organic search traffic, you should familiarize yourself with Google’s mobile-first indexing update.

What Is the Mobile-First Indexing Update?

The mobile-first indexing update is an update Google recently made to its search ranking algorithm that prioritizes the indexing of the mobile version of a website over the desktop version. In the past, Google has used the desktop version of a website to determine its search rankings. Now, however, it’s using the mobile version.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to have two different versions of their website: a desktop version and a mobile version. Statistics show that more than half of all internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. To cater to these users, business owners and webmasters must use a mobile-friendly web design.

Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” wrote Google when announcing the update on its blog.

Creating a Mobile-Friendly Website

With Google’s mobile-first indexing update now in effect, it’s important for business owners to update their website so that it’s compatible on smartphones and tablets. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, Google may rank it lower in the search results.

You can check to see if your business’s website is mobile friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool here. If it fails the test, Google will provide recommendations to create a mobile-friendly user experience. Perhaps the most effective way to create a universal design that all users can view is to adopt a responsive theme or template. Responsive websites change their viewport sizes automatically depending on the size of the device on which they are viewed. Long story short, they provide a positive user experience on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your business’s website is mobile friendly.

Google’s latest algorithm update attests to the importance of using a mobile-friendly web design. If your site isn’t compatible with mobile devices, users attempting to view it on a smartphone or tablet may encounter errors. And now, a mobile-unfriendly web design could hinder your site’s ability to rank high in the search results.