Google to rank mobile sites ahead of desktop

8 November 2016

Google has announced plans to begin ranking mobile websites ahead of desktop-based platforms.

The move is part of a wider initiative to update its indexing and ranking algorithm, with the search engine giant stating that the majority of people now use Google search on their mobile device, with such users preferring links to mobile sites.

Google added that it has begun experiments on the new algorithm, which would replace the existing approach by which desktop versions of sites are ranked first.

“Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results,” Google said in a blog post.

"We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously.

"We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience."

However, while Google could take this mobile-first approach, it has said that any company building a new site should focus on having a functional desktop version rather than an incomplete mobile platform.

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