Google’s first mobile index

Over the next months, Google introduces an additional index.

Google has a single index of documents for search. Google’s Gary Illyes announced at Pubcon 2016 they plan on releasing a separate mobile search index, which will become the primary one!

Google creates a separate mobile index an will launch it over the next couple of months. The new index will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.

The news came during a great keynote from Gary Illyes, the Google representative at the last  Pubcon in October 2016. Illyes didn’t announce an exact timeline though.

Google first announced that it was experimenting with the idea of a mobile index last year at SMX East. Since that time, Google’s clearly decided that a mobile index makes sense and is moving ahead with the idea. However, this didn’t come unexpected as the mobile traffic will reach about 80% of the total online traffic by 2018.

It’s unclear how the mobile index will work though. For example, since the mobile index is the “primary” index, will it really not be used for any desktop queries? Will it only contain “mobile-friendly” content? How out-of-date will the desktop index be? Desktop usage is now a minority of Google queries but still generates substantial usage.

The most substantial change will likely be that by having a mobile index, Google can run its ranking algorithm in a different fashion across “pure” mobile content rather than the current system that extracts data from desktop content to determine mobile rankings.

This will have a huge impact for the online business and it will be even more important to have a proper mobile website solution (fully responsive).

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