After 20 years and offering its life-changing services in 123 languages, Google Search has taken a symbolic, yet important step this week. According to an official post by Fan Zhang, a software engineer in the Google Search team, the world’s largest and most influential search service will be placing more emphasis on mobile search.
Although this move hasn’t really caught the online world by surprise, it’s worth noting that over the past year and half, Google has put great emphasis on mobile search queries. In November 2016, Google announced that it was looking at mobile-first as an important shift in indexing which it takes seriously.
After carrying out tests and experiments over the past year and half, Google has begun migrating websites that follow best practices towards mobile-first indexing.
Although desktop search continues, the post adds, “We are notifying sites that are migrating to mobile-first indexing via Search Console. Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot. Additionally, Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages.”
The post summarizes its update as follows:
- Mobile-indexing is rolling out more broadly. Being indexed this way has no ranking advantage and operates independently from our mobile-friendly assessment.
- Having mobile-friendly content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better in mobile search results.
- Having fast-loading content is still helpful for those looking at ways to perform better for mobile and desktop users.
- As always, ranking uses many factors. We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show.
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, while they were studying at Stanford University. It was incorporated as a company by the same name on September 4 the same year. Since then, it has diversified into a vast range of services and products such as Android, Docs, YouTube, Chrome, Pixel (and Nexus hardware), among many more.