The way we use and consume the internet is constantly evolving.
Because of the enormous amount of hosts, data, and ways to transfer that data, we are able to individually customize the way we interact with the digital information provided to us. Each person has a unique relationship to the data they consume which is constantly updated and tweaked by not just the user. The systems and algorithms that define which bits of data we see are an integral, if nearly invisible, influence on what we see and interact with first.
Google is king.
Though there is no lack of available search engines, Google is the de facto choice for the majority of users. In common vernacular, “Google” has even become a verb, as in, “I had to Google that to find it”. It’s an accepted part of the way that nearly everyone interacts online. As web developers, though we recognize and take other search engines like Bing and Yahoo in to account when we develop and optimize a website, we put all things Google at the top of our priority list. This is to ensure that our clients’ websites are in the best position to be viewed and utilized by as many people as possible.
Google spoke, we listened.
Research from the last several years shows that mobile is poised to become the primary way that users interact with websites, and in many cases already is. This is why web developers utilize responsive design to ensure that the same information is available to a website visitor no matter what device they are using to view it. In most cases, websites are designed desktop first and then optimized for mobile devices. But, Google has adjusted their indexing procedures and this means that we’re adjusting our development strategy right along with them.
As of July 1, 2019, Google will crawl all new websites using mobile-first indexing. They will utilize their smartphone Googlebot which analyzes sites for mobile readiness. Not only will new sites be evaluated using mobile-first indexing, but priority will also be granted to mobile-ready sites over their competitors. Moving forward, new websites and significant redesigns should take mobile-first indexing into account.