On Friday, Google announced it has started to test making its search index mobile-first.
The development, which has been spoken about for over a year, is being made because most people now search on Google using a mobile device.
And the change, announced in a blog post, would “eventually” see Google’s algorithms use the mobile version of a site’s content as its primary source for ranking.
Speaking about the update, Google said: “Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.
“Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”
Google said the experiments with this mobile-first index will continue over the coming months, the tech company also giving some advice to webmasters on how to prepare for the gradual change.
Google said if webmasters have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, they shouldn’t have to change anything.
However if the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, webmasters should consider making changes such as ensuring to serve structured markup for both desktop and mobile versions, as well as verifying and adding mobile versions to Search Console.
Check out the full list of recommendations here.