With mobile-first ranking, Google is giving website owners additional incentive to develop mobile-friendly websites. Here is how mobile-first ranking works.
The mobile version of your website determines your search engine ranking
Best practice dictates that you build a mobile-friendly, responsive site that displays quality content quickly and consistently across a wide variety of devices (Apple and Android smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers manufactured by an assortment of companies). If you must have a mobile site and a separate desktop version (although we don’t see why you should), make your mobile site amazing because this is the website that will be indexed to determine your search engine ranking for both mobile and desktop.
Desktop indexing still exists
Don’t give up if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website yet. Your site will be indexed using your desktop version. The Google Webmaster Central blog posted the following:
“If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site. If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site. It’s better for you to build up your mobile site and launch it when ready.”
Your mobile content may be indexed differently than your desktop content was in the past
Instead of indexing your content based on keywords and links, Google is looking at entities. An entity, according to Google, can be “a person, an organization, or location.” Entities can also convey concepts, emotions, and relationships through the use of mixed media like mobile apps, audio, domain names, infographics, keywords, links, maps, photographs and other images, and videos.
Mobile-first ranking will extend to other applications and have far-reaching implications
This ranking system stems from the rapid rise in mobile searches. According to Bernard Marr, writing for Forbes, mobile phone users account for over half of all searches and “Google now processes more than 40,000 searches EVERY second (3.5 billion searches per day)!” In Data Never Sleeps 6.0, Josh James graphically proved that our creation of data is also accelerating. Mobile-first indexing may be able to keep up and provide real-time answers and “near me” solutions that are based on related ideas, not just keywords. Artificial intelligence (AI); assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri; the functionality of wearable technology, and the Internet of Things will all benefit.