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Thread: Google to separate it's index - mobile vs desktop - What's impact for local SMBs?

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    Durandl is offline Member
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    Google to separate it's index - mobile vs desktop - What's impact for local SMBs?

    Hi Everybody.

    I recently read that Google has decided to create a separate mobile index which will become the main index for search results.

    Can anyone share their thoughts on the potential impact it will have on local search results since most people conducting local searches use their mobile devices?

    Many thanks

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    JoyHawkins is offline Top Contributor & Featured Author
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    Re: Google to separate it's index -mob vs desktop- What's the impact for local busin

    If they have responsive sites, this shouldn't change anything. Personally I find SEO way more challenging when they have a separate mobile site so the whopping majority of my clients have responsive sites.

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    Margaret Ornsby is offline Top Contributor - Local Search Pro
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    Re: Google to separate it's index -mob vs desktop- What's the impact for local busin

    I think what that emphasises is the importance of designing for mobile first.

    If you do local but don't take mobile into account, the local rankings will not reach their potential.

    Local IMHO is under bigger threats than a new index.

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    Re: Google to separate it's index -mob vs desktop- What's the impact for local busin

    Coupled with the new(ish) emphasis on AMP I think this is very interesting. I wonder if this move is indicative of a different ranking system. But like Joy said if their assets are web 4.0 then there shouldn't be any ripples from this. Thanks for sharing the news!
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    Re: Google to separate it's index -mob vs desktop- What's the impact for local busin

    To echo what everyone else said, be sure to test new layouts/changes on all mobile devices and then desktop. Every time you crawl the site with Screaming Frog, make sure you set a mobile user agent for at least one of the crawls to make sure pages are being found. If the site is responsive, then it should be OK... but don't assume. Check everything.

    Another big thing to watch is site speed. Google is has put a large emphasis on mobile for years, but it hasn't really hit mainstream until relatively recently. Be sure make sure both mobile and desktop are optimized for content performance, critical rendering path, and rendering performance.

    I've started really digging into Google's Web Fundamentals documentation. One paragraph really stuck out to me:

    Unlike their desktop counterparts, web applications do not require a separate installation process: enter the URL and we are up and running -- that’s a key feature of the web. However, to make this happen we often have to fetch dozens, and sometime hundreds, of various resources, all of which can add up to megabytes of data and must come together in hundreds of milliseconds to facilitate the instant web experience we are aiming for.
    Yes, in many parts they're talking about developing web APPs, but the fundamentals carry over to all websites. Make sure your client has a quick loading site, optimize file delivery, compress images, and make sure the user gets a phenomenal experience.

    Does this change anything? No. Google has been telling us to do these things for years, so it really shouldn't change all that much.
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    Re: Google to separate it's index -mob vs desktop- What's the impact for local busin

    Responsive design is indeed Google's preferred design pattern as per their Mobile SEO guidance

    Preferred over separate m. or dynamic serving.
    Linda Buquet likes this.

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