Google Index Split – Are You Ready?

Google regularly make updates for their search engine, such as algorithm changes or amendments to the appearance of the search engine results page. These updates can have an impact on websites that are looking to rank well and earn more traffic, regardless of the industry you operate in. Of course, some have more of an impact than others, and it’s the job of digital marketers to minimise negative impacts and emphasise positive ones.

Remember Mobilegeddon?

One of the most notorious updates that Google have done recently was the infamous ‘Mobilegeddon’ of April last year.

For those who don’t know, ‘Mobilegeddon’ was the colloquial name given to the Google algorithm update that considered how well a website performed on mobile. If a website was mobile optimised and performed well, they could get a boost in their organic ranking – where they appear on Google. However, those that did not have a mobile optimised website could expect the algorithm update to have a negative impact, making it harder to rank on Google and earning significantly less traffic to the website.

Mobile is Still Rising

So, making sure your website is mobile friendly is important – but it’s about to go to a whole new level. Reuters recently revealed that mobile web traffic is expected to make up 75% of all web traffic next year. It should be remembered that some of this web traffic activity is done through apps, rather than using a browser, but it still signifies just how prevalent mobile search is becoming. In October, mobile internet use overtook desktop use for the first time, and this is expected to increase over the coming festive period.

Recap – mobile use is increasingly important and Google have implemented changes in the past to reflect this. If you don’t have a mobile optimised site or don’t adhere to best practices, your website will likely suffer.

Big Changes are Coming

Now, for the big news. Google will be rolling out another algorithm update over the next few weeks and months, and it’s a big one. The famous Google index, which catalogues all the pages on your website that can appear in Google, is splitting. Going forward, there will be two indexes for Google, one for desktop and another for mobile.

This means that your website could easily rank differently depending on device, and those mobile optimisations that have been ignored until now could start hitting home. A website without mobile optimisation is likely to attract an increasingly smaller share of potential web traffic and, with more and more mobile traffic every month, the effects of this will only increase. Furthermore, it appears that this new mobile index will be Google’s primary one, demonstrating that it’s a higher priority than desktop.

Make sure that your website is mobile friendly and optimised now. Sometimes, we can all be focused on other imperatives, but if you leave this too long it could have a damaging effect on your business.

Of course, it’s not just about mobile optimisation. Website speed, fresh content and lots of other SEO best practices will be important for ensuring digital success.

We at Brands 4 Learning can help – we can undertake a website health check to confirm whether your site is mobile ready and, if needed, can support you in optimising for mobile.

Your website is your presence on the digital world, make sure that you can be seen by everyone that wants to see you!