In some ways, SEO management is very much like fashion: just when you think you’re on top of the latest trend and mandate, industry leaders go and shake things up again. True to form, Google has recently announced a new algorithm update that will have a massive impact on the way it indexes websites and the search results rankings.
Due for release in the next two months or so (Google is never ever specific about when these algorithm updates will hit), the search engine will launch an update that will split the Google index into two entirely different entities.
For years now, Google has been crawling desktop versions of sites online and ranking them based on the desktop design but showing mobile users the mobile versions of those sites. Essentially, giving credit for an optimized website to its mobile version. But now it will actually split its industry dominating index into two distinct entities: mobile and desktop. Google will crawl both desktop and mobile sites and rank them separately, showing desktop users the desktop index and mobile users the mobile index.
What this means for business web design is this: sites that rely on mobile versions with trimmed down, streamlined content will be hit hard and sites that have responsive design and simply present their desktop design in formats suitable for the device upon which it is being viewed will gain ground considerably.
When mobile search became a “thing,” web design companies created mobile versions of their site with fewer graphics, less content and easy-to-navigate design for mobile viewing.
With Google’s new update those sites will have navigability but lack rich content their desktop counterparts might have that keep them atop the search engine’s rankings. With this equation, a site with rich content could rank well for desktop searches and poorly for mobile ones.
The big problem with that is two-fold: (1) Mobile searches are up and gaining while desktop searches are on the decline; and (2) going forward, Google will prioritize its new mobile search index, conducting desktop crawls much less frequently than mobile ones – this because of the decline in mobile searches.So the point here is that if your website has a streamlined mobile version, you need to act now before the new changes take effect. If yours is a responsive design that presents the full desktop content in a way more conducive to tge device upon which it is being viewed, you’re in good shape and all you need do is focus on adding even more useful rich content to keep your site relevant.
If you have questions about what to do to prepare your website for Google’s latest algorithm change, call one of our consultants at 773.664.5819. We just love helping businesses get a leg up in their visibility online.