The Impact of Mobile First Indexing On SEO
One of the biggest changes in the world of SEO, in recent times, is the mobile-first indexing. It's a very simple concept. Before mobile first indexing, Google used to consider the desktop version of a web page for their crawling, indexing as well as ranking systems. It has now changed which means the mobile version of a web page will be considered for indexing as well as ranking.
Google is making this change to better serve their users which means most of the users of Google primarily use mobile to use the search engine. For search engine optimization, it simply means that now the mobile version of your website becomes the primary version for various purposes.
Impact of Mobile First Indexing on SEO
First and foremost, you need to ensure that your website has a mobile version. If your website already uses a responsive theme, you do not need to worry as the design is automatically adjusted to suit the size of the device accessing the website. Similarly, if you have a dynamic serving site, you do not need to change anything. However, if the mobile version of your site does not exist, you should drop everything and invest in a responsive theme. There are several resources available online to help convert your existing website into a responsive website.
As far as search engine optimization is concerned, you need to make sure that the content on your mobile site is the same as the content on your desktop site. Another important thing you need to make sure is that the structured data for your mobile site and the desktop site is same. It can be easily verified with the help of free structured data tool offered by Google. If you have a separate mobile site, you need to login to the search console and verify your site.
Since visitors are likely to visit your website primarily through a small screen device, it is important for you to make sure that your mobile website is optimized to deliver the required information. Some of the other usual parameters that are important for search engine optimization will remain same for mobile first indexing including the page loading speed, quality of content, presence of metadata, links and other such things.
It is recommended to keep an eye on Google's blog where they have a section for best practices for mobile first indexing. For international sites, Google recommends checking hreflang links on your mobile URLs to make sure that the mobile URL hreflang point to mobile URLs.
With mobile first indexing, the crawl rate on the mobile version of your website is likely to increase and you need to make sure that your website server has enough capacity to handle this potential increase. You should also check the robots.txt file to make sure that it allows crawling of the mobile version of your website in addition to the desktop version of the website.
Overall, you do not need to do anything if you already have a responsive theme. Website owners who still haven't gotten around to serving mobile users, need to optimize the mobile version of their website as quickly as possible in order to make sure that they keep getting highly targeted organic search traffic from Google.