A change which will happen in a couple of months, is that Google is splitting its search index. The results will be two separate versions, one for mobile, one for desktop.
We will see Google's index broken up into a frequently updated mobile version, and a not so frequently updated desktop version.
This news was broken by Google’s Gary Illyes at Pubcon in Las Vegas, and again confirmed on Twitter following his keynote.
Many have seen this coming for years, as it could be seen as a natural progression in Google's desire to create a better mobile search.
So, Google is going mobile first. Makes sense, as they have been encouraging site owners to go mobile ever since the infamous mobile update in April 2015. The shift of mobile search overtaking desktop search is also a sign of the company adapting to splitting its search index.
Googlebots will be able to strictly crawl the mobile/responsive version of a web page and index it accordingly by having a separate index for mobile. Smartphone content will be better mobile-optimized by Google, thereby delivering much better results. Also, Google can get breaking news out to users faster with expedited indexing.
What Does This Mean for Site Owners?
With this announcement, it is Google's way of telling everyone... mobile search is more important than desktop search.
Google is sending a message loud and clear that site owners should prioritize mobile over desktop. At minimum, either have a mobile or responsive version of your website. That, however, is just the bare minimum.
Speed matters. Not just to Google's ranking algorithm, but to users as well. According to Google, 53% of users will leave a site or web page if it doesn't load within 3 seconds.
One way to get fast-track indexing of your content is to regularly publish news about your industry by getting listed in Google News. It will make your content more visible in search results.
Be proactive. While there was no exact time frame given when the split will happen, site owners should have these bases covered before Google splits its search index. It never hurts to be ahead of the game.
Posted on October 18, 2016
by Ed Moore filed under