Mobile-First Index

What is this Mobile-First Index?

How search engines work

A search engine is a large hardware-software complex designed for searching the Internet and delivering results at the user's request in the form of a list of sites relevant to the query. The most common search engines are: Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex.

The development of search engines occurs before our eyes. Every day several new algorithms are introduced that improve the relevance of issuing search engines. To meet the quality requirements of search engines, it is necessary to track all the major changes in algorithms, filters and updates.

Mobile-First Index - killer optimizers from Google

Very soon a significant number of SEO optimizers, long time promoting client sites, will suffer the well-deserved punishment from their customers. All this is due to the gradual unfolding of the Google's mobile-first index.

On March 26, 2018, Google announced the phased deployment of the Mobile-First Index.

What is this Mobile-First Index?

Indexing Mobile-first means that Google will use the mobile version of the site pages for indexing and ranking. They have only one index on the basis of which the ranking factors are calculated and the organic issuance of the search system is built. If earlier the index was built on the basis of the desktop version of the site, it will now be built on the basis of the mobile version (if it's possible).

How can this affect the vast majority of sites?

Some of the links will stop working. Links are the most important ranking factor for today. If the sites massively lose some of their links, this will certainly affect their positions in the search results.

The data of a fresh study from the MOZ. When implementing the Mobile-first index - for example, you could lose more than 60% of links.

This is due both to the organization of mobile versions of the pages, and to the peculiarities of crawling the mobile version of the site. Well, for example, the organization of the archive in the form of "lazzy loading" can lead to the fact that some of the materials will fall out of the index or will never be indexed, even despite the site map. If it is indexed, then because of the lack of links (except site map), the weight of the page will be minimal, accordingly, the reference weight will tend to zero.

Especially the old links, the most important ones, will get under attack, allowing you to be in the forefront of search results for years, despite all the changes in the ranking.

In addition, the mobile version of the site and desktop are different and the menu of the site and linking pages. There will be a strong revaluation of the weights of internal pages, accordingly, the weight of the external reference given by the donor will decrease. Obviously, the old links will be most affected here.

Because of errors in mobile versions of sites that most have not really tested, only by pulling an adaptive template, many pages of the mobile version of the site, even if indexed, will not receive any weight and will drop out (most likely) from the issuance.

For example, according to one study, in the mobile version of the site, 63% of external links were lost.

Do you think that with a global transition to the Mobile-first index this will affect the ranking? Or there is nothing to worry about?

Speed is very important!

As early as July 2018, the speed of the site will become an official ranking factor. All this is also associated with the introduction of the Mobile-first index. Winning will be fast, optimized sites that use SSL certificates and work on the HTTP/2 protocol.

In addition to the direct influence of this factor on your site, this will affect the mass of sites that will not even think of implementing anything like this. As a rule - these are old sites, links from which to this day had a good weight. Now, because of the fall in their rating, their position in the organic search will deteriorate, which will lead to a decrease in their trust factors. Thus, if you have links to old sites that do not optimize the speed of work, then their weight will drop significantly. And all this will be added to those 63% of links that simply will not be counted.

Do you think it's worthwhile to optimize your site and increase its speed?

Already today in some areas there is an appearance in the TOP of very poor in terms of user benefits sites, but using CDN and a lot of cheap, but fresh links. Although they are quickly cleaned out, one can already assume how TOP will be redistributed in the very near future.

What else will be punished by optimizers

The introduction of the Mobile-first index will bring many more complications to optimizers. Well, for example, there are three options for organizing a mobile version of the site, one of which is on a subdomain. Historically it is This seems to be one of the most problematic topics. It's unclear whether Google will consider mobile version of as the main one for, whether it will store it in the cache alone or it's two separate sites. Then for the main site there will be no mobile cache and the trust factor of such a site will drop. Or what about canonical pages. Which ones are now more important than mobile or desktop versions of the site?

The quality of links from such sites will inevitably collapse. And this, as a rule, old and trust sites, which introduced mobile versions one of the first. And if the references from them were before the limit of dreams, then now they will depreciate.

For owners of such sites, too, there will come a time of problems. If Google recognizes the main page of and based on it will calculate the ranking factors, the reference factors on these will be almost zero. Therefore, they will have to start all the progress from the very beginning.

If the main and cached is, then sanctions for the lack of mobile version and adaptation for mobile are quite expected and likely.

At the same time, owners of adaptive sites face their own difficulties

- As you know, in summer all sites without SSL certificates will be marked in the browser as unreliable and the ranking of these sites will be 10 times worse.

- Or the speed of the site. Will your site be able to compete with pages that load in a split second?

In view of the above considerations, we should soon expect the appearance of new, optimized projects in search results that meet new requirements for the quality of search engines.

Who is to blame and what to do?

Google encourages us not to panic. From his words, the changes in the index will be insignificant. Indeed, in terms of search engines, common innovations, on average, should affect equally all sites. Unconditional position of the owner of the site, whose resource is out of the TOP 10 will be slightly different.

What to do with it?

  • 1. Study the ranking factors in organic search, in the Local Pack (local issue), optimize the site for them.
  • 2. Increase the speed of the site. Check how your mobile version works. Optimize your robots.txt for it.
  • 3. Check the availability of all important pages of the mobile version of the site. Analyse how the re-distribution is distributed in the mobile version of the site.
  • 4. Eliminate the errors of the site.