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Google’s Mobile First Index, What is it, when does it start and what do i need to do on my website?

BY: Chris Scott / 0 COMMENTS / CATEGORIES: Local SEO, Search Engines, SEO

What the Mobile First Index Means for You

Google’s Mobile First Index has been in discussion for some time now, but it’s not due for a full roll-out until 2018. The Mobile First index is something that reflects a philosophy that Google has had for some time now – that mobile users should come first, because mobile search traffic now exceeds desktop search in many countries, and mobile users have clearer searcher intent – so both webmasters and Google, would benefit from putting them first.

Google is not taking the stance that desktop is dead. They will not ‘stop indexing’ desktop traffic – but they are going to start looking for mobile content first, and ranking it more highly than desktop content. So, if you want to get high rankings in the search engines (or retain them if you already have them) then it will pay to make sure that your website is mobile friendly before the new year.

There is not a definite rollout date for Mobile First, at this time. Speaking at SMX West, Google engineers said that the original target date had been the end of 2017, but that now they were looking at a 2018 rollout date. They have said that there is ‘plenty of time’ to make the changes, and that webmasters will not be penalised overnight.

However, since the information is already available to help you figure out what to do with your site, it makes sense to start working on making it mobile friendly already. If you have a mobile-friendly site; a responsive site that has a layout that will work in any resolution, or a ‘reactive’ site that displays different themes for mobile and desktop users (but where the content is the same), then you don’t need to do anything to keep your rankings. If, however, your site is desktop only, or you serve up different content (not just a slightly different version of your CSS!) to different devices, then you will need to make some changes, including adding structured data to both sites, and verifying that the content is error free.

If your site is slow to load and not mobile friendly, then you may already have suffered ranking penalties as a part of ‘mobilegeddon’, and you might need to make some changes to recover from that. The good news is that if your site was designed using WordPress or another popular content management platform then you can change the theme that you use with relative ease. There are many free themes out there which can even be used for commercial purposes and that you can customise to suit your needs. There are premium themes, too, that could serve you well if you have a little money to spare and want to ensure that what you are using is unique, or at the very least used by far fewer people than the free themes are.

If your site is not powered by WordPress, Magento or any of the other popular content management systems, then you will need to take some time to get it fixed up – or get the developer that did it for you to improve the layout. Here at SEO Leeds, we can help you to resolve this. While your site is not going to vanish from the search engines overnight if you do not make it mobile friendly, it is problematic to have a desktop only site now, and you would be future proofing your website if you were to set up a mobile-friendly version of it, because the initial rollout of the Mobile First index will not be the only version of it. Improve your site today to reap the rewards.

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How to appear in Google’s knowledge graph


Do you want to make your website more noticeable every time it appears on the organic search listings? Surely, this is something that all business owners would want for their website. You probably know that it isn’t enough to rank on the first page to capture the attention of your target audience. The good news is that Google now displays the Knowledge Graph, which shows important information at a glance. But why does the Knowledge Graph show up for certain queries but not for others? Here are some tips on how you can show up on Google’s Knowledge Graph.

Try searching for a popular celebrity on Google. Other than the traditional search results, you will find toward the left side of your screen that the knowledge graph tells you all the basic information you’d want to know about that celebrity. This includes a short description of the person, birth date, nationality, and other relevant information such as popular movies or songs.

Now, imagine if your brand appears on the first page of Google just like the celebrity you searched for. This means that your target customers will see relevant information without even having to click through your website. This is precisely the reason why Google has implemented the knowledge graph. It is their way of providing users with immediate answers to their search queries.

You should know, however, that there is no magic button you can push to suddenly show up on the knowledge graph. You need to perform some steps just like you do in any SEO campaign. What’s great is that if you are trying to optimize the website of your local business, there is a good chance that you have done some of these steps already.

Have you already used local SEO like we do at Brand That Name? If so, then you probably already have a Google+ local page. If you don’t, then now is a good time to create one. This is one of the first places Google takes information from, which they then feed to their knowledge graph results. When you are creating your account, be sure that you select the appropriate category for your business.

The next step is to claim your Google plus local listing. You might not realize that Google has already listed your business on Google maps and there are other products. You can verify ownership so you can gain control over that listing. Once you have a verified the listing, you should try to accumulate as many positive reviews from your customers. The same applies to other third party review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp. These reviews also show up in the knowledge graph, which entices potential customers to check out your business.

You should also take the time to set up a Google Freebase listing. This is another source used by Google to feed information to their knowledge graph. Take note of that it is open source, which means that anyone can add information to Freebase.

The last step is to use structured data. This enables the search engine crawlers to have a better understanding of your website. It entails using semantic markup formats on different parts of your content including images, videos, authorship, and other relevant information.

A lot of businesses still fail to leverage the power of the knowledge graph. This means that it can give you the edge to outrank the competition, making your business stand out in the search results. Be sure to follow all the steps above to give you the highest chances of appearing on Google’s knowledge graph and getting more clicks from targeted customers.

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