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How the Google Mobile-First Index prioritises speed and reactivity

The mobile experience has been of paramount importance for the last few years, but now Google is set to make it even more significant with its new Mobile-First Index.

First announced in 2016, the new approach is an important alteration, but what is it and what does it mean for your business. Mporium explores.

What is the Mobile-First Index

Up until now, Google has decided its rankings based on the desktop versions of sites. However, that’s changing, and from now on, it will be done using sites’ mobile version.

The Google Webmaster Central Blog explains: “Currently our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version.

“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”

What inspired the change?

The stats speak for themselves here. The number of worldwide smartphone users has risen from 1.57 billion in 2014 to 2.53 billion in 2018 and this figure is set to jump again by 2020 – to 2.87 billion.

Many of those users are taking advantage of the ease of use and portability their phones offer and purchasing goods online, but often the performance of the sites they’re trying to access isn’t good enough. They simply take too long to load.

This causes a problem for businesses as users drop away from sites that aren’t fast enough: Google has found that 53% of visits are abandoned if a site doesn’t load within three seconds, and even a one second delay can impact mobile conversions by 20%.

As Google’s UK Agency Director Matt Bush told Campaign: “With technology enabling faster experiences, people are just not willing to wait longer than a few seconds for a site to load. They’re shifting from, “Who does it best?” to “Who does it best now?”

Why does this matter?

The change is important because it underlines just how prominent our use of smartphones is, and what exactly we expect from them. Speed is of the essence and those businesses that don’t deliver fast and simple mobile experiences will lose out.

This isn’t just a concern for developers, who will need to ensure their sites are loading quickly. If speed is critical for the user experience, it’s critical for everyone: whether they’re pushing out adverts, designing a site, creating content or posting on social media.

Reactivity is a crucial way of doing this. By creating advertising and marketing campaigns that can deliver what the user wants to see when they want to see it, businesses can steal a march on their competitors and secure awareness and conversions.

Tools such as Mporium IMPACT can help with this, and if you’d like to know more information about what the product can deliver, get in touch.

Speed is critical and every second counts. Can you afford to get left behind?

If you’d like to know more about how Mporium IMPACT can help your digital marketing, get in touch today!

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