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Google Turns to Mobile-First Indexing. Are You Ready?

Google mobile indexing

Smartphones have officially taken control of the internet. People use them to search more often than they use desktop or laptop computers. Statistically speaking, it is more likely that a person browsing your site will use a phone to do it than any other device.

In response, Google has turned to mobile-first indexing. This puts a priority on sites that have been optimized for a mobile experience. Are you ready for the change? The way you respond can dramatically impact your page rank and your site's exposure moving forward. The change is here to stay, and odds are that the mobile numbers will only continue to increase.

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5 Important Things to Know About Google's Mobile-First Index

mobile-first index

Mobile usability has been a Google ranking factor for years, but the algorithm was primarily focused on desktop versions of sites when indexing. Now, however, the mobile-first index is officially rolling out following a promise by Google in 2016.

Put simply, this means that Google's algorithm will now view the mobile version of your site before anything else when making indexing and ranking choices. For sites that (wisely) use responsive design instead of a separate mobile version, Google will view your site through the lens of a mobile device, at least initially. Here's what you need to know:

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comScore Lists Most Used Mobile Apps - Google and Facebook Dominate

most used mobile apps

According to Business Insider, 65.5 percent of the millions of people who use smartphones fail to download any new apps in a given month. This is despite the fact that over 1.4 billion apps are available in Apple's app store and 1.5 billion are available in Google Play.

Clearly, this data tells us that a majority of smartphone owners prefer to use and revisit a smaller number of apps rather than constantly downloading new ones. While this behavior could change over time, a new report from internet analytics company comScore reflects the current trends.

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Initial "Mobilegeddon" Reports Start To Come In

mobilegeddon

A week ago, Google announced that its mobile-friendly algorithm began rolling out globally. This means that mobile-friendliness is now officially a ranking factor in searches performed on mobile devices. Whether or not this is the "mobilegeddon" some bloggers have deemed it to be, chances are good that your site traffic from Google will be affected in some way.

Indeed, initial reports seem to indicate that a large number of non-mobile-friendly sites have been negatively affected, while some sites that do pass Google's mobile-friendly test are getting a boost.

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Larger Numbers of Americans Only Access the Internet Using Smartphones

smartphones

The fact that mobile devices are taking over an industry once dominated by PCs is a well-established trend. Smartphones have been outselling personal computers for years, and 80 percent of internet users now own a smartphone.

When it comes to people who use smartphones as their only method of accessing the internet, it's been widely reported that they mostly reside in developing nations where fixed-line broadband is scarce. However, a new report from Pew Research indicates this trend is occurring in America as well.

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