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Mobile-First Indexing: The Importance of Mobile-Friendly Websites in 2020

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The article discusses the importance of mobile friendly websites with respect to the mobile-first indexing changes expected to be implemented by major search engines. On March 5, 2020, Google has officially announced that as of September 2020 all websites will be subjected to mobile-first indexing. Now you may ask, why is this important? In short, once with mobile-first first indexing is in full effect, the content of the mobile version of the website will be used for ranking and indexing purposes. 

If you are a webmaster or an SEO professional, it is finally the time to adapt to changes in order to keep your website relevant to Google search ranking. Thus, if you are already running a mobile-optimized (mobile-friendly) website(s) you got nothing to worry about, for now. However, those of you that are still running a desktop exclusive version of the website(s), it is about time to roll-up the sleeves and to ensure the website(s) are compatible with Google’s mobile site requirements no later than September 2020.

Luckily, there are several methods one can use to check the website for mobile compatibility:

    1. You can see results in the URL Inspection Tool in the Google Search Console account
    2. Use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool

Now, this just a quick reminder that there are three most prevalent configurations for mobile websites

    1. Responsive Web Design: URL and HTML content remains the same on all devices, but renders differently to accommodate screen size variations.
    2. Dynamic Serving: URL remains the same, but the HTML content rendering varies with respect to the user’s browser.
    3. Separate URLs: The type of URL and HTML content served varies on the users’ device.

Out of the three, the most suggested configuration is ‘Responsive Web Design’ because it is much easier to implement and maintain. For all major CMS (Content Management Systems), you can find some fantastic templates and themes on ThemeForest.

Final note: For all other best practice guidelines that pertain to the topic of the importance of mobile-friendly websites, I suggest you review Google Search official blog. The blog does a deep dive into niche topics that help webmaster ensure the websites they manage are compliant with most recent search engine guidelines.