Today I want to talk to you about Mobile First. Google first announced it around 2016, and they had a big presentation about it last year at Pubcon.
The main thing I took away from the talk is that if you have a mobile site and a desktop site, you’d better have the same amount of pages in each one. This is known as content parity, and it’s what Google will be looking for when it crawls your site in the near future. Eventually, and it’s already started to happen in a limited way, Google will crawl your mobile offering first and consider it your main site. That’s what Mobile First means: your mobile site is your main indexable site.
There’s been some confusion in the past few weeks about the possibility of there being two indexes, with mobile being the primary one, but I haven’t been able to find any official word on this happening. As it doesn’t appear to be the case, there will be only one index, and Google will look to the mobile side of your site to find it.
I first covered this story right after Pubcon, and found that some of the larger sites are going to suffer the most from this.
If you’ve got a really good mobile responsive site, with a better user experience than your desktop site, you’ll probably benefit from Mobile First. If not, your best bet is to go fully responsive on your desktop site. There will be less work, less maintenance, and will be less prone to issues.
There’s a mobile speed update coming in July, so have one site, not two, and make sure it’s fast. And if you insist on having m-dot plus www, make sure you’ve got total content parity between the two.
This article was originally published on stewartmedia.com.au.