Ever since the beginning of Google’s Mobile Search Results, the Desktop Version of your Website has been used to determine the content of the site, and thus the placement of both Desktop and Mobile results.
As announced on the 4th of November, with additional follow-up on the 9th of November, Google is experimenting with changing how they index both Desktop and Mobile Results.
Google is now testing its Mobile-First index, where it will look primarily at the mobile version of your website for its ranking signals and fall back on the desktop version when there is no mobile version.
Anyone with a separate mobile site...
...or a dynamic / adaptive site where the mobile site only provides a subset of data appear to be at risk with this new algorithm update, as that Google will now be reading the Mobile site content to index the Desktop results.
Up until now, it has just been the complete opposite.
An excerpt from the article (reference below):
“My mobile site has less content than my desktop site. Should I be nervous?
Potentially, yes. Google has said that it will look at the mobile version of your site. If that has less content on page A than the desktop version of page A, then Google will probably just see the mobile version with less content.
This is why Google recommends you go with a Responsive approach — the content is the same on a page-by-page basis from your desktop to your mobile site. You can do the same with other mobile implementations, but there is more room for error.”
If you have a Responsive Design there is nothing for you to worry about!
But not everyone has moved their Website into a Responsive format.
We have identified over 25+ Acorn IS clients that are still using a separate mobile site, and we will be contacting you directly to discuss moving to a Responsive Design, as per Google’s Guidelines.