The internet started out with a big PC box and a monitor in the form of a CRT screen. You probably remember these cubic televisions and monitors, which got larger before finally transitioning to flat screens. Manufacturers made thinner screens. As content grew, search engines began indexing and ranking websites and pages based on desktop display and desktop compute power. Then something happened: we started using cell phones to access websites. Sites got better, and responsive: now most sites display nicely on mobile devices and adapt to the size of the screen. In fact, users access more webpages today from a cell phone than from a desktop. We live in a mobile-first world. However, search engines have kept their rankings and indexing methods using desktop-first. It’s time to change and Google recently announced they are moving Google Search to Mobile First. Depending on the magnitude of the change this could be almost zero impact. Or it could shift many sites from page 1 to page 2, 3 or 4, and vice versa. What are the implications for site owners?
Display and content
In its blog post Google mentioned that responsive websites should have minimal impact from the upcoming change. A responsive site adapts to the screen size and keeps all or most of the content intact, when going from Desktop to Mobile. In most cases what may not show on a mobile is sidebar content. This can include ads, related posts, about the author snippets, or other pieces of information. In essence these pieces may not be essential, and they may be accessible in mobile view by clicking on a link. In other cases sidebar content tends to move to the bottom, after the main content is displayed. This just re-arranges the user view without removing anything, to the extent the user scrolls to the bottom of the page.
Requirements for display list evolving requirements, such as the featured image being at least 696px and the site logo being on a white or clear background.
Performance in a Mobile First world