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What is Mobile First Index and what You Should do About it?

What is Mobile First Index and what You Should do About it?
Rizwan Ahmed
September 15, 2017

Mobile technology has changed the way we work, travel, learn and stay connected with others. It is evident that mobile technology has given rise in an economy of their respective countries. In less than a decade, 3G and 4G have touched 3 billion subscriptions according to Ericsson survey, making the mobile widely accepted consumer technology. The mobile revolution has left behind the industrial revolution in terms of innovation and created such a space that it became an important part of human life.

Due to a rise of the internet in the late 1990s marked a major aggressive growth and innovation that led people to adopt and make best out of it. Traditionally, the internet accessed via cable services on desktop and laptops; now the web is accessed by users on the wireless devices like smartphones and tablets. It is a first time in the history that more people are accessing the internet on mobile phone and surpasses the desktop because of its easy to handle features. To provide fast and better services to its users on mobile, Search engine services like Google, Bing started rolling out their algorithm.

Google is working continuously on its search engine updates for its mobile device users to provide a rich experience. Considering the most of the search are done on mobile, Google wants websites in a mobile version.

What is Mobile-First Index?

Being an avid user of the internet, we mostly rely upon mobile phones for information, in the past; we get the related query website pages on SERP based on to desktop ranking. To provide mobile-friendly content pages to its users on mobile devices, Google has announced its mobile-first index in November 2016.

Google mainly focused on the ranking of web pages from the desktop user’s perspective; now it is going to consider the mobile version of web pages also as an important factor in the ranking. In a simple word, if the site optimized to a mobile version, the website will rank well on both mobile and desktop. On the other side, if the site fails to perform well on smartphone devices, website rankings will go down on both desktop and mobile.

However, Google is still working on the new algorithm, but its impact already started, it is possible that by the end of 2017 mobile first index will be everywhere.

The Following Characteristics of Mobile-First Index:

-Site Speed
-Responsive Design
-Easy to use
-Mobile Friendly Content

Site Speed

Loading time of the website matters a lot for the user to stick to quality content. Standard optimized loading speed is 2 seconds or less if it is taking more time to load, go through and make changes for the better functioning of the website. If the site has large images, by using tools, compress those images. Use the minimum amount of necessary code; avoid unnecessary characters, page redirects and leverage browser caching would also be reason to slow down the website speed.

Responsive Design

The desktop version might be difficult for the users, to view on the mobile screen. It is problematic to zoom in the content every time while reading. Avoid a lot of popups and flash elements, Users will get easily frustrated and leave the site immediately, and hence it decreases’ the site rank in SERP. Responsive design is important to keep the users engage that automatically adapt to user's mobile screen.

Easy to Use

While navigating the site on a mobile device, there are chances of accidental clicks. So align the links and buttons in an easy to use and hard to miss pattern.

Mobile Friendly Content

Create a rich experience with content to mobile users; it is true that most of the content consumed on the mobile device. Many sites think their websites are mobile friendly, but their content is not a mobile friendly. From now onwards always think from mobile first index view and produce the content from a mobile user's standpoint.

Mobile-First Strategy

It is important to focus on the mobile strategies; officially mobile internet usage has exceeded the desktop version. Lots of website owners still giving importance to desktop version before it’s too late switch to a mobile environment and be on first page of the SERP.


Google already started giving importance to mobile-friendly sites; due to many updates are rolling out these days, website owners cannot ignore mobile first index. Take the time and focus on creating the mobile first index to rank well on both the desktop and mobile version.

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