Why ‘mobile first’ rule is important for search rankings

Apr 27, 2020

Have you ever wondered what impact mobile website version has on search engines rankings? This article will tell you why you should pay attention to mobile-first rule.

The answer to this question is actually easy  –  it will help you rank higher on Google and the likes. As a result, you will be able to get more business revenue. Simples. But let’s try to dig a bit deeper and understand the reasons behind this.

Last year in July, Google introduced a new rule for indexing all new websites: mobile first. What does it mean? It means that if your website is still not adapted for mobile devices, it won’t rank as high as it used to (if it did) in desktop search results.

What’s the point of this new rule?

In the past, search engines took mobile-friendly websites into account when ranking, but didn’t focus on it – it was just one of the factors. When you searched for any information from your laptop or PC, Google offered you desktop search results. These results were attributed even to the websites not optimised for mobiles. Google scanned and considered a desktop website version in ranking.

What changes came into effect with a new mobile-first index algorithm?

  • Mobile index results are displayed on ANY device, even if you enter your search query on a laptop or PC.
  • Priority in search engines is given to the websites with a high loading speed and adapted for mobile devices.
  • There are no independent desktop search results. Your positions in mobile search queries results have a direct impact on promoting your traditional website version.

Google has valid reasons to rely mainly on mobile audience and practically force websites to adapt to its needs. Why?

Mobile audience has grown significantly lately

Computers as a means of access to the Internet give up their place to smartphones. There are twice as many people who use their computers compared to mobile phone users. Websites receive more than 50% of their traffic via mobile devices and the number is growing every year.  

Mobile audience buys. You can order pretty much anything from a mobile within 5 minutes. Statistically, smartphone users make small purchases, but are more loyal to a certain brand and pay for their order straight away using their mobile. It’s an ideal target audience for small and medium-sized business.

Where to go and what to do?

There are two options:

Create a mobile website version – a separate simplified website with a different HTML code and URL. The flaw of this approach lies in the face that you’ll need to set up redirection between your desktop and mobile websites and manage both websites.

Use responsive design templates many platforms like WordPress offer. In this case, you will have one URL address and content, but interface element will automatically adapt to your screen size. We usually recommend our clients to us responsive design. It’s easier to manage your website this way and monitor your results. Additionally, you’ll face much less challenges on a technical side.  

We hope you’ve found this information useful and found an answer to the question ‘why mobile first rule is important for search rankings?’ Meanwhile, check the projects we worked on and drop up as line or call us for any help or advice on your next website and marketing adventure.  

Marketing Insights