There is a reason why back in 2016 Google decided that it will be activating “Mobile-first” indexing. I will explain what this means.
For more than a decade, businesses have been having two versions of their websites: desktop/laptop version and tablet/mobile version. It has been established beyond doubt that more people are accessing websites from their mobile phones than from desktops and laptops. Even if reluctantly, businesses make sure that their websites seamlessly transition into mobile design when someone accesses their websites from mobile phones.
Now, there are two ways you can make sure that your website looks equally good on PC/laptop and mobile phones:
- You have two different versions of your website – one for PC/laptop and one for mobile phones.
- You have a liquid layout that seamlessly transitions into mobile layout and back to the PC/laptop layout depending on the size of the screen.
If you have a liquid layout you have got nothing to worry about. There are no two versions of your website and Google will be indexing your main website because it is also your mobile-website.
But somehow, just to save time and money, if you have opted for maintaining separate websites for PC/laptop and mobile, it is your mobile website that will be indexed and ranked by Google.
In India, more than 60% people who use Internet these days have never used a PC or a laptop. Consequently, they don’t even have an idea how a particular website looks on a PC or a laptop. The only version that they know is the version they have seen on their mobile phone.
A mobile phone is the nearest device people have when they need to check out something. You simply turn to it, do a voice search, may be saying “hey Google” or “hey Siri” or “hey Cortana” and then “log on to ravinderkhurana.com” and the mobile phone loads the website on the default browser of the phone.
You are not concerned whether you are visiting the mobile version of the website or the PC/desktop version. For you, there is only one version. The common person using a mobile phone isn’t bothered whether you are able to have a mobile version of your website or not. Whether he or she accesses your website from a PC/desktop or mobile phone, there is just one version for him or her. The only thing that matters to him or her is, whether your website is working or not. If your website does not look good to him or her, he or she is not going to think, “although your website doesn’t look good on my mobile phone, maybe it looks better on desktop, I should better check that.” No, he or she is simply going to assume that you don’t have a good website.
Not just 60% people who are accessing the Internet and who have never used a PC or a laptop, even people who, until a few years ago, used to use PCs and laptops to browse the Internet, these days prefer to use their mobile phone.
Have you been using Instagram? It doesn’t even have a PC version. Mind that it is not an instant messaging app. You post content – pictures. It is almost like Facebook, yet, it does not have a PC version.
Anyway, Google knows that within a few years, almost all the traffic on your website will be coming from mobile phones. This is why the search giant plans to index only the mobile versions of websites and rank your website based on your mobile version. The PC and laptop version no longer counts.
Although the mobile-first indexing didn’t happen completely in 2016 and they decided to postpone it until 2018, guess what, 2018 is here and soon, only the mobile version of your website will be indexed and ranked from this year onwards.
Hence, there are primarily two reasons why your website must look good on mobile phones:
- A majority of people – your prospective customers and clients – will visit your website for the first time from their mobile phones.
- Google will be indexing only the mobile version of your website, completely ignoring your PC/laptop version.
But, you must be wondering, how does it matter how your website looks if Google is indexing just the mobile version of your website?
That’s because, not just directly, even people coming from Google will be directly going to your mobile website. So, if someone finds a link of your website from Google search, there is more than 90% probability that he or she will be landing on the mobile version of your web page and not the PC/laptop version. If your web page doesn’t load properly, he or she is going to think that your website is malfunctioning and will go to another website to do business.