As early as last year, Google hinted at the idea that it would soon have a separate search index for mobile from its standard desktop index. However, during a keynote speech last week at Pubcon, Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes addressed the separate index again and later noted that it could become reality within a few months.
The plan is for Google to create a mobile search index, which will become the “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries, according to a Search Engine Land article. This could mean that if companies don’t have a mobile optimized website, then they risk not even ranking in search. When the primary index being used is for mobile, it is likely that a standard site will not rank highly, if at all.
What does this mean for you and your business? The bottom line is that if you don’t have a site that looks good and runs fast on mobile devices, you’re at risk of not showing up when someone searches for your business on their phones. Mobile searches continue to grow year-over-year, and it’s only a matter of time before they outpace desktop search, so it’s imperative that you start investing in mobile optimization if you haven’t already.
As Google has not released an official announcement yet, everyone is still unclear on exactly how the mobile index will work in relation to the desktop index, but more information should be released in the coming months. Stay tuned!