The Mobile-First Strategy Will Be In Full Effect Starting July

07.05.2018, vox populi

You can say that online, one century lasts 10 years, not 100 years. In 1990, the first network with the  TCP/IP protocol was created, with “websites” filled with mainly text content (1-10 kilobytes).

In the 2000’s, there was a chance to view websites with graphic content, albeit limited, because the internet was fast enough. The internet became faster with time. There was no common understanding of the supremacy of mobile, that was known to the ideologists.  

From 2008-2010 programmers were faced with a demand for graphic content, acceleration, for which new devices emerged, sharp increases of graphics on the internet, low qualifications of professionals. Working with large resources, we needed to keep it readily available. It’s one thing when a website has 1000 visitors a day, it’s another thing when that number is ten times (and more), reaching millions. A problem which seems small could completely slow down and also make the whole website unavailable.  

One day, the game is going to demand new rules. At the beginning of 2018, Google announced the MOBILE-FIRST strategy, which means the following:

Googlebot checks/analyzes both the mobile and standard versions of your website, if the mobile version has problems with speed or other optimizations, then Google will lower the ratings for both the standard and the mobile versions.

Since this news is a bit sensationalized, we tried at first to answer some of the initially pressing questions.

Question: Why is Google based on mobile solutions?

Answer: The market demands it. The number of devices exceeds the market (according to recent data, the share of mobile and tablet devices exceeds 55%).  

Question: When will these changes come into effect?

Answer: 2018, starting July 1, the index will gradually be refreshed.

Question: Will Google completely divide the indexes of standard and mobile versions?

Answer: No, it will remain as one complete index.

Question: In what case will Google be base the index solely on the standard version?

Answer: When there is no mobile version (this doesn’t mean that you can be convinced of a high rating). In the case of no mobile versions, you have to match standard versions for use on mobile devices.

What steps should be taken in advance?

  1. Check that all the quality, valuable materials which exist in the standard version are accessible in the mobile version.

  2. Use structured data, metadata, especially on social media (OpenGraph, Twitter Cards).

  3. Specify the language and country (hy, ru, en, en_UK, en_US, hyw) using hreflang attributes, where the audience is.

  4. Create sitemaps: XML and HTML.

  5. Register your resources in  Google Webmaster Tools, add the mobile version.

  6. Check your website now. Aside from Mobile-Friendly Test, you should check the overall speed of the website (also with other versions).

  7. Carry out a website audit on Google Chrome.

  8. Make sure that your server is ready to accept more requests from Googlebot.

In the end let me note that it’s time for web publishing and app creating developers pay strict priority to minimal and simple versions, pick non-standard solutions instead of those which are well-known in the market.

That’s all for now.

Tigran Azatyan, economist, programmer
CREATEIT SOFTWARE founder, director

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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