Marketing 2 min read

Google Reminder: Prioritize Mobile Site Over Desktop Version

Andrey Suslov /

Andrey Suslov /

For a while now, Google has been working on mobile-first indexing, and it’s not surprising.

More users are surfing the web on devices such as smartphones and tablets rather than using the traditional desktop. Also, site owners are responding to the shift, with up to 70 percent of websites already on mobile-first indexing.

But what happens when you can only afford to optimize for one version of the site? What would you do if you have to pick between improving the mobile version of your website or the desktop version?

That was the question that an e-commerce site owner asked Google’s John Mueller during the May 1 Google Webmaster Central hangout.

The site owner wanted to know whether to focus on improving the mobile or desktop version of the site. While the budget isn’t sufficient to update both versions, the e-commerce site owner wants to ensure that the choice wouldn’t harm search rankings.

“From an SEO perspective, on which version of the site should the owner dedicate their time and resources?” the question reads.

Here’s Mueller’s response.

Site Owners Should Pick Mobile Website Over the Desktop Version

Mueller suggested that the mobile version of a site is all that matters since Gooogle switched to mobile-first indexing.

If the owner of the e-commerce website has made a move to mobile-first indexing, they should focus on the mobile version of the site, says Mueller. This is especially true because Google would have stopped crawling the desktop version.

However, the Google webmaster trend analyst points out that focusing on the mobile website doesn’t mean deleting the desktop version. That’s because they might still have tons of users that rely on this version.

Mueller stated:

“Usually, my recommendation for people who are working on their website, and trying to figure out desktop or mobile, is to find a way to move more of the content to a more responsive design so that you just have one version.”

However, if you can’t move to a responsive design, and you need to pick between the mobile and desktop versions for SEO, Mueller suggests picking mobile.

Read More: How Do Google Index Pages with Infinite Scrolling?

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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