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Mobile-first indexing: how the desktop ranking will change

A few days ago we previewed the news of the new algorithm dedicated to mobile versions of websites and the possible changes that will occur in the SERP .


Without a doubt, mobile-first indexing has been one of the most debated topics of 2018 in the SEO world and certainly this important change in the way Google's search works has left SEOs with doubts and answers pending.

A few years ago Google had a website titled " How Google works " where it was easy to explain what was the indexing or the reading and storing of the information of a web page by the search engine indexing robot (in this case, GoogleBot ).

But let's go in order and try to shed light on mobile-first indexing: once Google visits and reads a page, it stores this information in its index and only then "activates" the ranking that is instead the process in which the search engine evaluates the information in its index by determining which web pages match its criteria based on the search query and other factors (such as the device).

Clearly a site cannot be classified if it is not already indexed and even if the Mobile-first indexing represents a major change for Google, it does not necessarily mean that there should be substantial changes for most websites.

All that Google is doing is simply to change the version of the content of the web page it is indexing, preferring to index the mobile version.

For many sites, like most of those using responsive web design , there should be no problem, just because the content of the mobile and desktop versions is virtually identical.

The problem occurs when, on the other hand, a web page has different contents in the mobile version than in the desktop version and in general this happens for reasons of size and space, going to insert less content on the mobile version.

The problem arises only and only when the missing content in the mobile version contains an important ranking signal and in this case that page could suffer a substantial ranking decrease.

Take for example the possibility that the webmaster has decided that the mobile content is shorter than the desktop version because it is believed that visitors browsing from smartphones or tablets do not want to browse a lot of content. The indexing that will be examined will be, as we said, the mobile one and it follows that the shorter form content of the mobile version will be indexed compared to the longer form content of the desktop version.

But the shorter version may not have the same value in the Google rankings and therefore the latter could fall.

Let us remember, however, that ranking and indexing are two separate things , each with different goals, objectives and factors. Just because Google is changing the way it indexes, doesn't mean that Google is also changing the way it classifies websites.

Currently, Google's organic rankings differ depending on whether the query is made on a mobile device or from the desktop. In part, this is due to specific Google ranking factors and the penalties that exist for mobile results, such as the loading speed of the mobile page.

This will probably not change with mobile indexing, as these penalties / factors influence the ranking and not the indexing.

Eye, instead, what is decided to eliminate from the mobile version, always remembering the basic rule that Google always wants quality content and regardless of the version that is used to do the search, the important content must always be present.
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About Minh Hiếu

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.

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