Google's First Mobile Index Still Months Away

Google's First Mobile Index Still Months Away pixelwork

Google's First Mobile Index Still Months Away

En SMX West, Gary Illyes of Google He said the company is still experimenting with its mobile-first index and does not have an exact launch date.

Do not get scared. That's what Gary Illyes said at SMS West – at least three times – to SEOs and webmasters who might be worried about the upcoming shift to a mobile index.

“The team behind the moving index wants to launch it this year. We are still experimenting. We don't have a release date. It could be in a few months or quarters, but definitely not in weeks. Don’t be scared, especially if you have a responsive site.”

Illyes said at the SMX West conference on Wednesday.

Illyes first revealed plans to create a separate moving index in October 2016 and said at the time that he was about to "months" to become a reality. Five months later, that's still the case.

The change is due to the fact that, as of 2015, more than half of all Google searches are occurring on mobile devices. When the change occurs, Google will use the mobile version of the web content as the main index and that mobile content to base the ranking on the results, even for desktop users.

One of the big challenges in making this change is that the mobile web has fewer signals for Google to use.

“The mobile web has fewer indicators than the desktop version. Content and links are scarcer. Mobile sites don't have much of the metadata that desktop sites do. We are aiming for a neutral quality release. We don't want users to experience a loss in the quality of search results. “We need to replace the missing signals on the mobile web.”

Illyes said.

He also explained that Google is working on a new page speed measurement process that is specific to mobile sites, because using desktop page speed measurement is not relevant.

Gary offered a short list of tasks for SEOs to prepare for the mobile index:

  1. Make sure your mobile site has the content you want to rank for.
  2. Make sure structured data is on your mobile site.
  3. Make sure the rel-annotations are on your mobile site.

Illyes said Google will provide more guidance on the last two points in the future.

Your most important advice?

Do not get scared. We are not weeks away from the first moving index. Most likely it will be months.