What happens if I only have a desktop site, not a mobile site?

Google have said that nothing should change, if you do not have a mobile based website, they will crawl your desktop site instead, even when they are using their “mobile” useragent crawler.

If you do have a mobile site, it’s important to ensure that both your mobile, and desktop websites have similar content so that Google can correctly rank your website for both Mobile and Desktop.

Ok, so what if my mobile site has less content than my desktop site?

Well, based on information we’d have, we’d recommend increasing the content on your mobile based site to be as close as possible to your desktop site – in fact, what we REALLY recommend is having a responsive web design so that your site has the same content across both mobile and desktop based browsers, and in turn, Google’s search results.

Google has said that expandable content (Tabs/Accordians etc) carry less weight – what about on mobile?

It’s looking like Google are going to be completely fine with content in tabs and accordians as long as it adds to the user experience – UI (user interface) design on mobile is trickier than on desktop due to the smaller screen size, so they are quite happy for you to use expanding tabs / accordians as long as it is good for user experience.

How long do I have until these changes take effect?

As far as we’re aware, Google is currently testing these changes with select users, but we’re still several months away from it fully rolling out, our best guess would be late Q1 2017, perhaps early Q2 before everything has switched over to mobile index being the main index.

Will my site get rank boosts if it is mobile friendly?

Not as such – but it will rank better than sites which do not have a mobile friendly version by proxy. Google have said that sites which are not mobile friendly will not rank as well, which in turn means that sites which do have a mobile friendly version will appear above sites without.

How can I easily check how Google sees my website via its mobile crawler?

The simplest way is to use the fetch and render tool within Google’s search console – select the mobile: Smartphone option and then submit to search and render. Once it completes, you can view the results and see exactly what Google sees when crawling your website.

Will I notice the changes during the switchover?

Google has said that you shouldn’t notice much change, if any, they are aiming for as little impact as possible during the rollout, but like all Google updates, we do expet to see some noticable change, perhaps not at this early stage, but some time down the line.