Google Divides Its Index

In a move that won’t surprise most who work in the world of SEO, Google recently announced (at Pubcon (a marketing conference)) that it will divide its index. So Google divides its index, what does that actually mean? In short, your (organic) positions can greatly vary between desktop and mobile search engine results pages. Furthermore, Gary Illyes of Google confirmed that Google’s mobile index will be the primary index, thus updated more often / potentially better maintained, which makes sense in an era where a majority of searches are performed on mobile.

Mobile Search Takes Over

Google have made conscientious efforts to enhance the mobile search experience, from the ‘Mobile Friendly’ labelling of results and more recently, the inclusion of AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in search results (previously it was just the mobile carousel / news). Mobilegeddon (a past mobile friendly update) was the benchmark, where many websites fell down in the mobile rankings due to poor mobile experience.

As with a lot of these announcements, there’s no exact timeline as to when these changes will roll out – just confirmation it would be within ‘months’.

Read: Should You Be Using AMP?

Three top tips for a good mobile experience:

  1. Ease of use, e.g. easy for user to find what they are looking for
  2. Website loads fast – worth testing on at least 3G onwards (even 2G)
  3. Links / CTAs are big enough and spaced out enough to easily click

Not sure how your mobile experience is? Use Google’s free tool to check.

Even though it’s more than likely that this decision is aimed at increasing AMP adoption, you should still focus on improving your current mobile offering – especially with the ‘quick wins’ highlighted using Google’s tool. If you already have AMP on your website – or your planning to, Google has also recently launched a new testing tool, which will help you debug code and preview what your page may look like in SERPs.