Google update: The mobile first index rolling out in early 2018

Google is at it again. The latest update by Google will change the way websites are viewed on mobile. The update is set to roll out in early 2018, however, we can expect a soft rollout on this one. At SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes said that Google will communicate a lot before rolling out the mobile-first index. Google will be providing the webmaster a lot of guidance for the update.


“We’re thinking about how we can make sure we only include in the mobile-first index sites that won’t be hurt by the mobile-first index. The longer time frame can be several years — maybe five years — before we reach an index that is only mobile-first,” Illyes said.

While the update will come out in 2018, the webmasters and developers all around the globe have already started to make the amends on the websites. Google has already given a tool to check if the website is mobile-friendly. Nonetheless, there are a few things that you must know if you don’t want your websites to be affected by the update in the near future.

Optimize your website for mobile-first in
  • Website Speed Website speed is one of the most important parts of user experience. It is one of the first ways to check if your website will suffer from the update. There are three ways to speeding up your website:speed

    • AMP
    AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open source initiative created to improve the mobile ecosystem. AMP pared with HTML loads website much faster than regular HTML. Google also saves or caches the content in the memory to load the website faster. This result is a clear, faster and sleeker user experience. You can use the plugin in WordPress to convert your pages to AMP and Instant Articles for Facebook.
    • PWA
    Progressive Web Apps is an alternative to AMP. The advantages of PWA is reliability, fast user interactions, and immersive UX. You can read more here.
    • PWAMP
    This term was first introduced by Gary Illyes at SMX Seattle. PWAMP is a consolidation of AMP HTML, CSS and JS. PWAMP is extremely fast and offers all the benefits of PWA. They can be considered the tool of future.

However, if your website works perfectly in the mobile domain with the right speed and great UX, then there is almost no benefit for you to move to AMP or another alternative.


  • Content management for mobile The mobile-first index will have the biggest impact on you if you use a subdomain for the mobile experience. This leads to different content on desktop and mobile sites. The rankings are based on the desktop version. The update is expected to affect the mobile version and ranking of your website. The adverse effect may lead to the removal of rank. Even if your website is mobile-friendly, you might want to optimize the content.

    • Drop-down menus

    • No Flash

    • Minimize pop-ups on mobile

    • Make the text and padding finger friendly

  • Manage and streamline the checkout process According to Think with Google research, 85% customers select the product on one device and complete the checkout process on a different device. It is necessary that you streamline the checkout process making it easier for the user to shop. Here are a few tips for you to manage and streamline the checkout process:

    • Maintain constant speed page

    • Ask to save details

    • Sleek navigation

    • Give the option to complete purchase of another device

    • Minimize the information form at checkout

    • Incorporate Apple/Android pay for easy and quick payments

    • No pop-ups

  • Don’t block images, JS or CSS Technology is different than what it was when mobile design began. It was advantageous to block CSS, JS or heavy images. However, now the mobiles have a great processor with larger memory and capacity. To go mobile-first, do not block the images (if heavy you can optimize them), Javascript or CSS. Google’s smartphone user agent GoogleBot can also handle all these elements. It also improves the whole design of your website.

  • Think mobile-first You’ll have to think mobile-first to adopt mobile-first. From design and development to user experience, everything needs to mobile-first. A responsive website is just not enough. Responsive does not mean that it is mobile-first ready. To embrace the Google’s new update, you have to change the basics.

    With Google mobile-first index, the developing and designing of website is going to take a complete u-turn. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Once you tackle the abovementioned issues and work to make them better, you will be in a much better position with the update. Be prepared for the time Google flips the switch. At Soft System Solution, we are always available to help you out with the upcoming Google updates.

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