Google’s decision to split it’s index will mean big changes in SEO next year
Google has unsettled the SEO community throughout 2016 by releasing back-to-back updates to its SERPs and search algorithms. The latest, and hopefully the last change for the year, was announced by Google’s Gary Illyes at PubCon last month. Google is going to launch a separate mobile search index, which will eventually become its primary index. The index will be effective “within months,” said Illyes. Google officially confirmed this announcement just days go, with a post on their webmaster central blog confirming their decision to make their index ‘mobile first’. What was less clear was whether they’d be running two index’s seperatly, or going straight to a single ‘mobile first index’.
Not quite a bombshell, I’d say, considering that Google has been experimenting with a mobile index since last year. Google’s mobile-first strategy that it has aggressively pursued for at least the last couple of years is no secret, but the latest change represents a huge challenge for businesses and SEOs, particularly when viewed side-by-side with the other changes to mobile search and SERPs that have been introduced this year. Before we can find out how to deal with the new mobile index as well as the other updates, let’s run through what those updates were.