Are You Ready For Google’s Mobile First Index in 2017?

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As we head into new year many of you might have heard that Google is introducing it’s Mobile First index. In this article I will cover some of the main changes we have had to make to our seo services, and what you need to be doing to your website right now in order to meet Google’s guidelines.

Mobile devices have revolutionised the way we access and process information.

In just the last 2 years the way we access the internet has completely changed. Today people have access to tremendous amount of content while in almost any situation we can think of. The speed of this transition has left many businesses behind with outdated websites which are too slow to load or are not mobile friendly. 

Research has shown that web pages which takes too long to load are more likely to drive readers away. It’s for this reason Google introduce a open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages also known as AMP.

The AMP aims to improve the performance of mobile friendly pages.

The code is designed to work across multiple platforms and devices. Google believes by using the AMP framework mobile friendly pages will load almost instantly.

The AMP framework was first introduced in 2015 however, it’s only now as we head into 2017 that Google will start favouring websites using it. If you use wordpress there is a plugin which can help you get started – Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on your WordPress site.

It’s time to get rid of pop-ups

In August of 2016 Google announced that they will start to crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January 2017. Research has shown that intrusive pop-ups provide a poorer experience to users than pages which provide the information instantaneously.

Pop-ups are even more of a problem on mobile devices as the screens are much smaller.

As of 10th of January 2017 Google has announced that they will start to penalise pages where content is not easily accessible.

Here are some examples:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content
  • Displaying a standalone pop-up which user has to dismiss before accessing the content.

examples-of-interstitials-that-would-not-be-affected-0Examples of interstitials that would not be affected by the new signal:

examples-of-interstitials-that-would-not-be-affected

We know google can track user behaviour through Google Analytic. We also know that bounce rate is essential part to Google’s ranking algorithm. Therefore, I have no doubt that Google will use this metric even more so as the new Mobile First Index is rolled out.

It’s never been more important to produce top notch content which is unique and enjoyable to read. I also recommend you interlink articles whenever you can. I am not talking about random linking as this will have no benefit to your readers.

You want to push your readers through your site by offering them related articles and trying to keep them on your site for as long as possible. Again, it’s important to note quality is of most importance. I know some of you use tricks to entice clicks but this method will eventually result in annoyed visitors and Google will punish you.

Make good use of Google Analytics

Google Analytics will play a big part in helping your optimise your site for Google’s Mobile First Index. Drill down to Mobile users and look for engagement to help you determine:

  • How long are your visitors spending on each page
  • Where are your visitors leaving your site

Use this information to tweak your pages constantly.

Goolge WebMaster Tools will become your best friend

Google’s Mobile Usability tool is very useful for determining if your website has any mobile usability errors. The report will shop mobile usability issues detected over time on your site. The errors are grouped by type and you can click on each page URL to get a list on instruction how to fix the error.s

Google Page Insights

Google’s page speed insights was developed to measure your sites page performance i.e the load speed. You can use it to check both mobile and desktop devices.

The PageSpeed score ranges from 0 to 100 points. The aim is to get the highest score possible. If your page is getting 85 points or above than Google will see your page as performing well.

Conclusion

It’s without doubt that that in order to perform well in organic search websites have to be:

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Fast Loading
  • Easy To Navigate
  • Easy To Read and without intrusive pop-ups.

As always with Google if you put your visitors first than google will reward you with better rankings. I remember when Google first appeared on my computer screen back in 2000. Prior to Google I was using MSN and Yahoo as my main search engines.

I hated both of them!

Both search engines had similar issues. 

msn-search-engine-2001

This was how MSN looked back in 2001

Like most people I wanted to wanted to find information I was looking for quickly. However, I was constantly targeted with unrelenting adverts, repeated pop-ups which I found hard to close down. Both search engines tried very hard to provide you with the information I personally didn’t require.

Than by accident I came across Google and this is what the page looked like back in 2000.

google-page-in-2000

As you can it was very simple

This simplicity led Google to become the most used search engine in the world. The principles are still used by Google and we all should take on board and implement in our own businesses.

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