Mobile Sites • November 2017
If we are sitting down with a potential new client regarding rebuilding or assuming maintenance over their website, we can pretty much guarantee they will ask some version of “How do we show up first on Google?”
Thankfully, Google doesn’t try to hide the answer to that question… at all. In fact, they provide all the answers in terms of what factors contribute to their search engine page rank. And it is all about the User Experience (UX). The best way, in my opinion, to really get a handle on how Google is ranking your site, is to use your site as if you were a customer. Too often, we as website owners look at our site from our perspective instead of our users’ perspective.
Recently, AND ONE Marketing was asked by one of our clients to present on Mobile Optimization and Why It Matters to an organization of which they are a part. And in order to truly understand why it matters, we need to understand how Google determines your PageRank. Or, where you show up on search.
Google announced about a year ago it is shifting to a Mobile First Index starting early 2018.
So. Forget those words and think of their scoring system this way:
I loved watching Ice Skating in the Olympics growing up. While the scoring system has changed from when I was a kid, we can still use that scoring system as a jumping off (no pun intended) point. It was pretty straightforward (in my 13-year-old’s eyes.) Skaters were judged on factors that would contribute to a “Technical Merit” score as well as factors that would contribute to a “Presentation” score. Then, the “Technical Merit” score and “Presentation” score were combined to provide the overall score.
In a very similar way, currently, Google’s ranking system has many factors that contribute to the overall score that fall into categories like “Presentation” or “Technical Merit.” The shift to a Mobile First Index would be like the Olympics saying they are shifting to a “Presentation First” Index.
It’s a big deal.
While you could have gotten away with a relatively high search ranking with a not-so-awesome mobile score before because you had strengths in other factors (i.e. you’ve just had a website for 20 years), once this index rolls out that won’t necessarily be the case anymore. AKA your “Technical Merit” score won’t carry your “Presentation” score anymore.
But there is great news!!
Again, Google has already told us what it grades us on. I am Google Mobile Sites certified which requires a lengthy course and test and I didn’t want to make you all go through that. (Because it isn’t your job, it’s our job!) So I just went through my study guide again and took some snapshots of the mobile-specific items Google is looking at when ranking websites.
Just call me Cliff, ’cause these are my notes.
Take a gander and, as always, let us know if you have any questions!