Mobile First, There Is Only One.

by Jim March 19, 2018

With the slow release of a Mobile First Google gaining momentum by the week, I thought I’d help clear up a major point of confusion that I’ve seen floating around. There will not be two separate indexes, only the one, but there are other issues you can clear up for a smoother transition.

What I learned

  • Your mobile site and desktop site need content parity
  • Google will crawl your mobile site first
  • There will not be two separate indexes
  • Mobile will be the primary index
  • Consider a fully responsive main site
  • There is a mobile speed update coming


Hey, welcome back, Rankers. I’ve had a really interesting week. I will tell you more about it next week, but we’ve got the story on ABC News TV last week about .AU, so if you haven’t seen that, go and have a look at it. You can look at it … Well, the easiest way to find it is probably just by going “stop au cash grab” into Google, and there it is. It’s on that You can watch the video there.
A lot of interesting people saying interesting things. I didn’t understand terribly much what the auDA representative was saying. Didn’t make a lot of sense to me. But anyway, go and have a look at that.

There Should Be Only One

I want to talk to you today, though, about Mobile First. So this is something we’ve been waiting for … I think Google announced it first in 2016. Then last year at the Pubcon Conference in Las Vegas, we watched Gary Illyes from Google tell us all about Mobile First.
The main thing I got from that is that if you have a mobile site and desktop site, you better have content parity between the two, meaning that your mobile site really has to have the same amount of pages as your desktop site because what will happen eventually, and it has already started to happen, is that Google will crawl the mobile site first. That’s what Mobile First means, and that will be the primary indexable site, if you like.
So there’s been some confusion over the last week about these two separate indexes. There isn’t. I do recall Google saying at some point when they were talking about Mobile First that this may mean that we have a separate mobile index. I can’t find a reference to that now, but that’s not the case. It is only the one index.

Now I did this story, what was it,  just after Pubcon, and we had a look at some of these sites that had got an m-dot site, so that’s who this is typically going to affect badly. If you’ve got a really good mobile responsive site, and it’s a better user experience than your desktop site for users, you might benefit from a Mobile First index, but these are the sort of brands that will get affected as it stands unless they make changes.
So for instance, the Australian Stock Exchange has an m-dot site, but there’s only 16,500 pages on it, whereas the desktop has 279,000, so that would lose 262,000 pages. Ninety-four percent of their content would be lost in a Mobile First change.

Go Fully Responsive

So we’ll just see where they are today. So we go to and just to see if there’s been any progress. No. Ha. Wow. Unless what they may be doing in this situation, so they’ve gone from … They’ve lost 16,000 pages on their m-dot site, so maybe they’re … Well, hopefully, they’re rolling back their m-dot site altogether, and they’re just going to a fully responsive main site, desktop site, which is probably the better way to go. It’s less maintenance for you. It’s less work for you. It’s less prone to issues. This year is about with Google everything … a lot of the stuff that we’re hearing anyway, mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile, right?

So we’ve got a mobile speed update coming in July as well. So be fast. Only have one version of your site. Don’t have two versions of your site. If you are going to have m-dot and www, make sure that you have content parity between the two sites. If not, you’re going to get into trouble, and for goodness sakes, don’t register
All right, that is it for this week’s show, and we will bring you more news next week and maybe even during the week, depending on how things go. Thanks very much, everyone. Sign the petition, and share if you could. See you next week.

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