Although most SEOs are quite confident and perfectly comfortable in terms of optimizing on-page content for desktop websites, 2017 will see the introduction of the brand new mobile first index and, according to Google, this is where webmasters should now focus their attention and efforts if they want to remain ahead of the competition this year.
In a recent Google hangout session with John Mueller, one user asked what the three most important things to look out for would be in the coming year – and the edited, yet still truthfully accurate version of John’s reply was:
“Mobile, mobile and mobile”
So, What’s The Difference Between Desktop and Mobile SEO?
In the most basic sense, if a website is designed responsively then it should be more or less be okay in terms of optimization, although there are a couple of things to look out for.
When testing the mobile first version of your website, you will obviously need to make sure that the SEO tools you are using are actually focusing on the mobile version and not the desktop site. Of course, as the mobile first index is rolled out, the developers of these tools will obviously need to update their utilities, assuming they have not done so already and, if you are using your own in-house tools, you will also need to make sure that these are focused on the mobile version of your site when checking for flaws.
There’s also the new interstitials penalty to look out for whilst creating online content for mobile platforms. As reported in our previous blog, Google will now be clamping down on mobile pop-up adverts and messages that are considered intrusive and detrimental to a positive online browsing experience. However, as long as your website is quick to load, displays correctly on a mobile device and is easy to navigate, you should find that your ranking position in the mobile first index is steadily interchangeable with your desktop results.