A few months ago Google announced that they are switching to mobile-first indexing, you can read more about it here. Due to the massive size of the World Wide Web, it has taken a long time for this change to be implemented.
However, it appears that in the last few days Google has begun a large portion of this roll out...
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Unless you're a web data base engineer, you probably have no idea what mobile-first indexing means. It is fairly complex, so we’ve broken down this switch to help you understand what it means and how it affects your dental practice.
What Is Mobile-First Indexing?
Simply put, it is how Google reads your site. Until recently, your dental website has been indexed based on the desktop version. Well now, Google will index its search listings based on your site's mobile version.
A search engine index is an aggregate collection of sites that a search engine has created by using a tool called a web crawler.
Historically, crawlers have operated from the perspective of a desktop browser; however, these crawlers (at least Google's) now operate from the perspective of a mobile browser.
In short, Google will now view the mobile version of your site as the primary version, and the desktop version as the secondary version.
Why Did Google Switch To Mobile-First Indexing?
This is an easy answer, the desktop version of a web page is difficult to use on on a mobile device.
Over 60% of Google’s search queries are coming from mobile devices, a number that is continuing to grow every year. It only makes sense that Google makes the mobile experience a priority.
This isn't just a trend seen with Google users, the amount of web traffic generated from mobile devices world wide has been steadily increasing year after year.
A recent study put out by Statista found that over 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Google is just adapting to this evolution of how people access the web.
How Does Mobile-First Indexing Impact My Dental Website?
If you have a mobile-friendly site, fear not: this change doesn’t impact your dental website.
It just shows that you should prioritize the mobile aspect of your web presence. Any content that you post or updates that you make to your site should be done with a mobile-first mindset. This is because the mobile version of your site will be viewed by Google as the primary version.
If you have a website that is not mobile-friendly, then this will impact you.
Google’s goal is to deliver the most relevant results to a user's search query. If the majority of their users are using mobile devices, what websites do you think Google will display on the results page? Sites that are designed for mobile users.
If you don't have a mobile-friendly website, you can kiss your rankings goodbye.
Yes, your site will still be indexed and available on Google's search engine platform. Which means if I perform a search for your dental practice specifically, I will be able to find it.
However, if my search is less specific such as "dentist near me" your practice which does not have a mobile-friendly site, will rank much lower on the results page.
This is because your website will be perceived by crawlers as having a poorer experience, and will quickly loose its place to dental websites that offer a mobile experience.
Having a dental website that is not mobile-friendly places your dental practice at a massive disadvantage.
If you've been delaying an upgrade for your dental website, now is a vital time to stop delaying.
Is My Legwork Site Mobile-Friendly?
Yes, all of our websites are mobile-friendly. In fact, every single one of our dental websites is designed first and foremost for the mobile browser.
With the ever increasing amount of web traffic generated by mobile devices, and a subtle announcement back in 2016 made by Google that they were testing mobile-first indexing.
Legwork took action and made the switch it mobile-first designs to provide dental practices with a significant advantage over their competitors.
Staying Up With Google.
We here at Legwork will continue to keep you updated on various changes from Google, as they are often making changes that directly impact our dentists.
If you would like to read more about mobile-first indexing, here is Google's announcement.