Google is thinking about its mobile searches these days. With it’s recently released news about location-based search setting, the search engine is thinking about mobile-first index to introduced by next year.


The SMX East Conference

For the latest feature to get on-board, a panel discussion took place at the SMX East Conference titled “SEO For Google’s Mobile-First Index and Mobile-Friendly World” and showed participation from Leslie To, Director of SEO for 3Q Digital, Ashley Berman Hale, Director of SEO at Local SEO Guide and Gary Illyes, webmaster trend analyst for Google.


Leslie To’s Discussion

Leslie To threw some light on mobile-first index and divided it into two categories:

  • Configuration-agnostic auditing: These are the things that are considered regardless of mobile configuration


Some tips were discussed pertaining to this:

  1. To use HTML for rich textual or media content
  2. Banners are preferable in place of interstitials or screen-overlays to promote app.
  3. Use of menu options should be minimized
  4. All font sizes to be allowed
  5. Common gesture features could be used on e-commerce sites
  6. Enabling contextual keyboards
  7. Page speed to be optimized and maintained
  8. Keeping the readability easy and simple


  • Configuration-based auditing: These are the things that are specific to the mobile configuration of any user like mobile sub-domain, dynamic serving and responsive.


Mobile Subdomains: A bidirectional linking is required use mobile subdomain by using the rel=alternate tag to connect desktop to mobile and rel=canonical to connect mobile to desktop. But, in all this cross-linking should be avoided to keep the default links in the mobile experience to other pages.


Dynamic Serving: For this, Vary HTTP reader needs to be implemented. This will give the users the latest version of the page and avoid the wrong version that occurs due to ISP-caching.


Responsive: For the responsive sites, the CSS and Javascript should be enabled. Meta viewport tags should be checked for dimensions of the page. Even images and videos should be examined for responsiveness.


Major points from Ashley Berman Hale

She discussed some aspects regarding the businesses who cannot afford a mobile friendly site. For that itself the mobile friendliness can be broken down into categories:

  • By site-reaction
  • By product
  • By customer
  • By element

These businesses can understand what a customer is looking for and then perform his keyword research to prepare the content around that concept. Somehow, the businesses need to track the local searches.


Gary Illyes’ Perspective

The search results of Google are based on the crawls of desktop content. And since the desktop would be carrying more number of pages than the mobile which led to the problem that Google used to return the result based on desktop content but the users get to see the mobile pages which were not there.

What are the problems with the mobile sites?

  • Content or link from desktop might not be there.
  • Rel=annotations are not present
  • Structured data is missing
  • Even some media content is missing
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