When publishing on the web, it’s not uncommon for marketers to serve different content between their mobile and desktop pages. However, the issue here is that Google ranks websites using a desktop crawl for all of their searches regardless of the device being used.
Whilst this has no effect on those searching the web through a desktop device, it can cause a significant problem for those searching on mobiles and tablets with many users on mobile search selecting results that appear to answer what they’ve searched for, yet are unable to find what they’re looking for once they’ve visited the site.
This problem occurs due to a lack of consistency in content between the two types of site pages.
Now, as mobile search overtakes desktop with over 50% of searches being made from mobile devices, Google are cracking down and changing the way it ranks websites to enhance its mobile search results by switching to a mobile search index.
The change means that websites who fail to produce the same content on both their mobile and desktop sites will be impacted the most. As the search engine prepares to switch from indexing desktop versions of pages to making mobile their primary index.
Google’s mobile first update is set to demote websites that serve different or abbreviated content on mobile whilst serving more indepth and detailed versions of that content on desktop.