Google’s mobile-first policy has become a crucial factor for website owners to consider, and over the past several years, this has become more of a focus due to the continuing increase in mobile phone use. This policy, announced in 2020, signified a significant shift in how Google indexes and ranks websites in search results.

Further news this week from the Google Search Central blog signifies their final push to prioritise mobile-first indexing, which is relevant to any company running a website, web designers, and anyone trying to improve SEO on a website, of course.

Let’s explore this policy’s implications and understand why websites need to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

What is Google’s Mobile-First Policy?

Prior to 2020, Google primarily used a website’s desktop version for indexing and ranking purposes. However, with the exponential rise in mobile internet usage, Google introduced the mobile-first policy. This policy prioritises a website’s mobile version when evaluating its relevance and ranking in search results.

In simpler terms, Google now primarily uses the mobile version of your website to determine its search ranking. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly or has a poor mobile experience, it could be significantly disadvantaged in search results.

Why Websites Need to be Responsive and Mobile-Friendly

When first released, the mobile-first policy underscored the growing importance of mobile-friendliness for websites, and now mobile traffic dominates web browsing on the vast majority of websites.

Statistics reveal that a staggering number of users browse the internet using smartphones and tablets. As a recent Statista study showed, since 2022 almost 60% of web global traffic is accessed using mobile devices (excluding tablets).

This is expected to increase further by 2025 and beyond. This highlights the critical role mobile-friendliness plays in reaching your target audience.

SEO Benefits of Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Websites

There are numerous search engine optimisation advantages to having a responsive and mobile-friendly website:

  • Enhanced User Experience: A mobile-friendly website provides a fast, seamless and optimised experience for users on smartphones and tablets. This translates to better engagement, increased conversions, and lower bounce rates.
  • Improved Search Ranking: Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites in search results. By ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, you significantly increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Boosted Credibility: A responsive website that adapts to different screen sizes portrays a professional and trustworthy image to your visitors, as opposed to one that breaks on smaller devices, that could lose you customers forever.
  • Wider Audience Reach: With a mobile-friendly website, you can reach a broader audience, irrespective of the device they use to access the internet.

Google’s Latest News on Mobile-First Indexing

Google’s latest blog release discusses updates to Google Search Console and how Google indexes websites. It highlights that Google’s mobile-first indexing initiative is in it’s final stages. This signifies Google’s continued commitment to prioritising mobile-friendliness in search ranking.

You can read the whole Google article here:

How to Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

There are several ways to make your website mobile-friendly:

  • Responsive Design: A responsive design ensures your website automatically adjusts its layout and content to fit the screen size of the device being used. This is the most recommended approach for creating a mobile-friendly website and tends to be the default output from common Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress.
  • Dynamic Serving: This technique involves serving different versions of your website content based on the device accessing it.
  • Separate Mobile Website: You can create a separate mobile website specifically designed for smartphones and tablets.

If You Can’t Beat Them – Join Them!

It’s clear that Google’s mobile-first policy necessitates that websites be responsive and mobile-friendly. Studies by canonicalized in 2018 suggested that around 20% of global websites were still not mobile friendly, so a significant portion remained non-optimised for mobile users, and with Googles latest push, any that remain so will likely disappear from the Google index.

Be sure to include mobile-friendliness in any new website build or SEO optimisation that you embark on, and you’ll be in a better position to rank for your products and services.

Also, remember that Google constantly updates its search algorithms. Staying informed about these updates and adhering to best practices for mobile-friendliness is crucial for maintaining a strong online presence. You can keep up to date with the latest on the Google Search Central Blog page.


If you are confused by SEO, need a helping hand to get your website ranking, are looking for an SEO company to help with your keyword targeting, advise or give hands-on help in building the SEO strategy for your website, analyse your competition and advise on your website structure as well as mobile friendliness and speed, contact Wiser IT today or fill in the contact form.



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