Fully responsive mobile sites needed to satisfy Google’s mobile-first index early next year

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If your business offers a cut-down, basic mobile website compared to your much more advanced desktop site, Google’s move to prioritise mobile-first sites next year could see you drop a lot of traffic.

Digital marketing and SEO firm, StewArt Media, is advising businesses with cut-down, mobile versions of their full website to “move to mobile responsive sites ahead of Google’s switch to a mobile-first index in the new year”.

Chief executive Jim Stewart said “some big brands still have separate mobile websites, known as m-dot sites, which is what were used when we first had phones that couldn’t access websites.

“A mistake a lot of businesses have made is that they have a separate version of their desktop site as their mobile (m-dot) site. In many cases this is a cut-down version of the full website which only provides limited information and functionality.”

Stewart continued: “When Google moves to a mobile-first index early next year, these businesses are going to lose a lot of traffic to their websites.“As far as Google is concerned, separate mobile sites, that in many cases don’t provide the full range of information that is available on a regular website, will become the most important piece of content for these businesses. This will result in a significant drop in Web traffic because the information that is hidden on the mobile site isn’t searchable.

“To make matters worse, if a company has two websites, Google may only index the mobile site which means people searching from a PC will have this version displayed on their desktop, creating display issues and a dodgy user experience. Obviously, this does nothing to encourage repeat visits.

“The other problem for businesses operating separate mobile sites it that they need a whole separate site for desktop – which just means they have the hassle and cost associated with maintaining two separate websites,” Stewart said.

The solution?

It is simply “to get rid of separate, mobile sites and sub domains and embrace a mobile responsive technology, which has been available for years already.”

Stewart added: “Mobile responsive design automatically re-sizes the site so it can be viewed on any device and businesses only have one site to maintain. My advice to businesses that are still operating m-dot sites is to move to a mobile responsive site before Google introduces its mobile-first index early next year.

“Some big players, like Ford for example, are moving away from their separate mobile sites, which is a good thing,” Stewart concluded.

Obviously, Stewart’s company isn’t the only web design or SEO firm that can help you ensure your company’s website is fully mobile-ready, fully responsive and fully recognised by Google as being so, but the advice is sound – if you want to continue being listed in Google, you’ll need to ensure you’re compatible.

Source: https://www.itwire.com/development/80371-fully-responsive-mobile-sites-needed-to-satisfy-google-s-mobile-first-index-early-next-year.html by Alex Zaharov-Reutt