google's mobile index

Googles Mobile Index

Google’s Mobile Index – What It Means for Your Website’s Search Rankings

Google is officially rolling out their mobile first index, with estimates leaning towards an early 2018 delivery date. This update is going to cause vast amounts of volatility across most niches, where some existing sites will fall, and other competitors will have the chance to make gains.

The key to defeating and benefiting from this update is to understand what the update will mean for the SERP’s and what you need to do to come out ahead of your competitors.

google's mobile index

What is the Mobile First Index?

A mobile first index means websites must have the ability to be viewed easily on a mobile device. Currently, Google has a desktop and a mobile index. Their desktop index is the primary database, but the mobile will soon be the first priority.

By using search agents through mobile rather than desktop, Google can only index content in their mobile index that is available for users on phones and tablets.

Why is Google Introducing This?

More than 50% of all searches are on mobile, and this number is increasing each year dramatically. In a significant amount of countries, mobile devices outnumber desktop computers and laptops by an overwhelming percentage, leaving desktop users as the minority.

With this in mind, Google wants to make sure that the search results which it is serving to its audience are easy to browse on a mobile device. Currently, with the desktop first index, a lot of the results returned are near impossible to read on a mobile device because the website can not adjust in any way for the smaller screen and different orientation.

Non-Responsive Sites

Google’s mobile index doesn’t mean that you need to create a separate mobile site, in fact, that’s only likely to hurt you because it will divide your link power and could cause you to lose rankings. Instead, you need to ensure that your website is responsive, meaning that it can be viewed comfortably on screens of all shapes and sizes.

Websites that are non-responsive are the most likely to be hurt when the mobile index goes live. The poor user experience for mobile customers means that Google will be more reluctant to rank them highly and send traffic their way.

It seems likely that they will monitor this by using their mobile crawling agents to scrape pages, index them and check them for responsive behavior. If the site merely serves up a desktop page to mobile users, then they could be marked as not having a good mobile experience.

In this case, it seems likely that the non-responsive website would lose rankings to competitors who have more adaptive sites which make for comfortable viewing on a mobile device. It’s difficult to say how strong of a ranking factor this will be, but some SEO’s believe that it could be one of the top four factors.

It’s even possible that sites which aren’t responsive to mobile devices won’t be indexed in the mobile database at all, meaning that you could lose a tremendous amount of traffic.

Fixing the Issue

The RedTail SEO mobile-friendly website fix is to ensure that your website can show up in Google’s index on a mobile device. If it can’t then we will need to redesign your site from the ground-up using a responsive framework that will adapt to different screen sizes.

If you don’t, you could potentially lose an overwhelming majority of your search engine traffic and customers to competitors who have responsive websites.

Fortunately, we have years of experience in creating mobile-friendly sites and can quickly fix your website before it ever becomes an issue. Get in contact with us today and let’s start talking about how we can save you from losing your traffic to your competitors.

googles mobile first index

Preparing for the Shift

Google changing to Google’s mobile index as its primary index is a huge deal and you should expect a significant amount of volatility in the near future. It’s unlikely that they will make the change without issues, Google will penalize a small percentage of websites while other websites will get off without any change in rankings.

But just as with past updates, Google will tweak their index and algorithm until they are happy with the results that they are serving to their customers. Given that they are now prioritizing the happiness of their mobile users just having a mobile responsive site isn’t enough.

Things You Can Do

It’s likely that with the new Google’s mobile-first index will come algorithm tweaks that help to improve the results further. One example of this would be increasing the importance of site speed within the algorithm. It would be shocking if they didn’t do this because with more users on mobile you need sites to be lightweight and to load quickly.

The most straightforward way of accessing your site speed is to use a website like Pingdom to access your website and record the time that it takes to load. Pingdom also explains precisely why the page loaded slowly and what you can do about it.

For users on mobile devices pages that have a large file size can be so painful that they just choose to go back and find another website to read. The most significant contributor to the file size of your page is images.

If you’re going to serve images, then you want to ensure that the images stored on your site in the maximum size that you plan to serve it in. Storing large photos and then scaling them down forces users to download bigger files than they need, causing incredibly slow load times.

Instead, make sure that you use exact size images and compress them using a tool like Photoshop or Gimp.

The only way to not only survive but to thrive, from this shift to a mobile index is to create a superior experience for mobile users. If you don’t, you will lose traffic. Google’s mobile index is a significant update for Google, and it’s unlikely that they will ever shift back to a desktop first index.

What Is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimization. Its the process of optimizing a website and its content to be recognized and indexed by search engines like Google easily.

Why is it important to be recognized in search engines? If your website is offering a service or a product, you want people searching for those services and products to be able to find yours.

These phrases or terms that people are typing to search for services and products on the internet, we refer to as keywords.

Search Engines

Internet programs like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have indexed the entire internet and are designed to search for information on the interwebs. These search results are displayed on pages and presented with a list of ten results per page. We refer to these pages in the industry as the SERP’s (search engine results page).

Google has even stated that 90% of all people searching the internet don’t go past the first page of their search results. There is an on-going joke on the internet that says if you want to hide something on the interwebs just put it on page 2 of the google search results.

SEO becomes very important with regards to first page results. With proper SEO techniques implemented websites can move to the first pages of search results.

Google is the king of search engines with more than 70% of all searches that people are performing on Google. Google’s very own youtube is the second largest search engine to date that people are using to search for information on the web. Amazon has moved into the third most used search engine used by people searching the interwebs.

Google is also moving to a mobile-first index in the near future, and you can read my article I wrote about that too.


These keywords or terms and phrases that are typed into the search engines are what determine the results we are trying to get.

An example would be if I typed in “Las Vegas SEO” into Google searches. The results would be the top ten listings or “rankings” for las vegas seo. The webpage listed in the top spot will be what Google thinks is the most relevant for your keyword searched. Then Google will list the following most relevant sites on down the list.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty is a metric that research tools measure to consider several factors when calculating the difficulty.

Competition is a significant factor in determining keyword difficulty. Keyword competition is determined by how many pages are competing for the same keyword, how much it cost per click (CPC) to advertise for that specific keyword, and how much traffic that particular keyword gets are all determining factors in its keyword difficulty.

Most SEO companies will base their cost of SEO on the keyword difficulty or the competition of the keyword.

Longtail Keywords

Longtail keywords are what we refer to as longer phrases or longer search terms.

An example would be like “top las vegas seo expert.” These more extended keywords are usually easier to rank in the top search results. One reason is there are not as many pages competing due to more variations of the keyword phrase. Another reason is that these longer tail keywords have less traffic than more of the primary keyword searches.

Longtail keywords are essential to have, and optimizing for several of them can produce significant traffic results to your webpage.



On-page SEO is referring to all the work that an SEO expert will do on the actual website page its self that we are trying to rank. The titles and content of the website are all parts of the on-page work. While the interlink between pages, the photos, and videos used on the web page are also all critical parts of the on-page strategies of SEO. The on-page approaches are essential and a significant factor in SEO and necessary to page one ranking in Google.


Off-page SEO is also referring to everything that an SEO expert will perform off the actual web page. Link building, social signals, and things like guest posting are all necessities that experts consider off-page SEO. These strategies are fundamental and are essential to rank for keywords that are highly competitive.

Cons to SEO

One problem with SEO is the fact that it takes several months to get first page rankings. Some of the most difficult keywords can take up to a year to get number one rankings on the search results.

Small businesses who don’t have an advertising budget may find that SEO services are expensive, but companies who can afford to spend a monthly advertising budget might not be as offended by the cost of SEO services from an expert.

Pros to SEO

SEO has the best return on investment (ROI) than any other advertising strategy known to man.

SEO creates natural organic traffic that can return useful results long after the work is finished by an SEO expert.


Thank you for reading my article what is seo? It’s pretty straightforward to set up a consultation with RedTail SEO.

If you would like a free video analysis of your website please fill out or discovery form and see what SEO can do for your business.

Maybe you don’t have time at the moment but you can get a free website audit by simply typing in your website on our free website auditor.


SEO Guest Post


Guest Post Submissions

RedTail SEO regularly publishes guest posts from experts in SEO who can provide useful and unique perspectives to our readers on news, trends, and other areas of interest related to search marketing. Check out our SEO NEWS and see for yourself the quality of content we like to publish.


To submit an SEO guest post, please send it to

We do have a placement fee for our guest posts; please inquire for details at


We will respond as quickly as possible to your email. However, we get a lot of submissions, and we publish only the best articles for search optimization.


Our Guest Posts Guidelines

Guest Posts are around 800 words.

Make a clear argument supported by details, examples, and data.

Please avoid a lengthy introduction; It’s better to just get to the point.

Don’t forget to include a headline in your post.

Be sure to include an author bio with details on your expertise and background to make it clear why your opinions on SEO and related topics should count to our readers.

If you’re not the author, be sure to tell us what organization you work for and describe your relationship to the author.

Be sure to disclose any conflicts of interest you might have, such as any companies, affiliates, and or partnerships covered in the article.

Please only include images that you have the rights to or fall under the creative commons license.

Send your article to us in a format that is easy to edit, like a Google doc, pasted into an email, or word.


Sponsored Posts

If you are with a company that wants to write about a solution you have to a problem common in SEO or a vested interest in, we consider this a sponsored post.

Contact for Sponsored Posts submissions.