If you received an email from the Google Search Console Team labeled “Mobile First Indexing Enabled”, you are not alone. Luckily, you don’t have to do anything, because your website is mobile responsive and someone may be viewing your site right now on their mobile phone.

However, if you want to know more about what mobile first indexing is all about and why the Google Search Console Team sent you an email, here is a overview of how mobile first indexing affects yourSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) in a way you might not have considered.

In this post we will break down:
  • What a search engine library is
  • How google indexes websites
  • What mobile first stands for
  • How mobile first indexing affects your SEO in 2019
  • What you can do today

In order to understand what “mobile-first indexing enabled” means, we must understand what Google SEO crawling indexing and ranking stands for.

A Search Engine Is A Library

First let us ponder what a search engine is. Think of a search engine as a giant library that holds books of all sizes and genres. Well in order for people to check out these books they must know what the library has in stock and where to find them.

Second, part of our story is the library must hire a librarian to manage its books. The librarian must go through each book and write down an inventory catalog. Sorting books in the catalog by genre, title, and relevancy. In this process the librarian has created an index of books.

In the third step, the librarian works around the clock 24/7 to continue indexing new and old books. Ranking the most relevant books toward the top of the catalog and dropping the least relevant books towards the bottom. This allows the customers to quickly find the books they are looking for and return them without causing confusion in the library.

In conclusion, Google has created their own library called the Google Search Engine and has hired a librarian robot called googlebot. Instead of sorting books, googlebot crawls websites, indexes them, and ranks them according to relevancy. 

This idea is what Google has developed its entire search engine platform on and is constantly improving their googlebot algorithm to deliver websites to customers as quickly and accurately as possible.

Great job you read through all of that! You now have a better understanding of what a search engine does and in essence how SEO works.

What Is Meant By Mobile First?

Mobile first is a confusing way of saying you should design your website to look good on mobile phones first. Then design your website to look good on desktops second. This is also called responsive design.

If you are on your phone, swipe up and you will see the icon’s under Uptown website mobile“What we do” section are lined up vertically. If you are reading this on your desktop you will see the icons lined up horizontally in two rows of four.

This is a perfect example of how a mobile first responsive website should perform. The easiest way to build your site is to develop your site for mobile devices first by stacking your content on top of each other in a vertical line, then use media queries in CSS to control how your content looks on wider screens.

To learn more about media queries & responsive sites take a look at this blog post from Medium.

Putting It All Together

Now we understand what mobile first means and how search engines index websites. Putting it all together the email you received from the Google Search Console Team labeled “Mobile First Indexing Enabled” means Google has created an index for mobile first responsive websites and your website is now in that index.

Congratulations! Your website will be exclusively delivered to people who search for your site on their phone.

This technically does not affect your SEO but Google has placed your website in a whole new section of their search engine library and you have become more relevant to the growing mobile users.

If you are wondering what you can do today to improve your SEO for 2019. Continue creating mobile first content and stay relevant to your users. Let us know how we can help you.

Brennan Grout
By Brennan Grout