Google is splitting its index of search results into separate versions for mobile and desktop, according to Search Engine Journal. The change is expected to happen in the next few months.
This news was broken by Google’s Webmaster Trend Analyst, Gary Illyes, at Pubcon in Las Vegas.
The company has made its preference for mobile-friendly websites since the algorithm update (called Mobilegeddon) in April 2015. Google splitting its search index is also a sign of the search engine prioritizing mobile search over desktop search.
Having a separate index for mobile creates an opportunity for Googlebot to crawl just the mobile version of a web page and index it accordingly. This could lead to Google delivering mobile-optimized content to people who are searching for content using their smartphones.
What Does this Mean for SEO?
With this announcement, Google is making a clear statement that mobile search is more important than desktop search.
Google prioritizing mobile over desktop sends a message that publishers and SEO professionals should do the same. This means having a responsive/mobile-friendly version of your website is a must. However, the publishers would have to do much more.
Google’s preference for site speed will also play a huge role in how your site is indexed on the search engine. Speed is a critical factor, not just for SEO, but from user-experience perspective as well. According to Google, 53% of users abandon a site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
The best practice would to be to do a regular check of your site on Google’s PageSpeed Insights and fix all the speed-related issues. Ensure that you minimize the load time of your site.
So what do you think of this latest update from Google? Are you onboard with AMP yet or are you going to wait and see how it impacts search engine rankings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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