Google Mobile-First Indexing Ranking May Not Initially Consider Site Speed

by @lauriesullivan, December 27, 2016

As Google moves forward into mobile-first indexing, initially the algorithm will not take mobile Web site speed into consideration as it does for desktop, says John Mueller, a Google Webmaster Trends analyst based in Switzerland.

“I don’t think we can do that from the beginning,” Mueller revealed Tuesday during a Webmaster Central hangout live stream aimed at publishers and Webmasters. “In the same way we use speed for desktop [indexing and ranking], I don’t see us doing that in the beginning. It’s something we would like to do in the long run.”

Google began experimenting with mobile-first indexing in November 2016. The company said that eventually, if tests prove positive, its algorithms would primarily use the mobile version of a Web site’s content to rank pages from that site.

Google also will rank for instructional CSS hidden content for the mobile-first index, whether hidden or not from the site visitor’s view, but the company will demote boilerplate content — especially the type of content repeated on ecommerce sites.  

If the main content is copied one-for-one from other sites then Google will index the pages, because the page on the ecommerce site will be mostly unique. Mueller said Google’s technology will try to index and serve the most appropriate page in search query results, even if multiple pages show the same boilerplate copy. Google recognizes that the text snippet is duplicated across a number of pages.

Mueller also recognizes that this will not change how Google populates its entity database for its mobile-first index.

When it comes to rankings in search results on, tying the content to current events like a presidential inauguration make a difference, as well as completely unique content and links from relevant Web sites connected to the content. 

Mueller reminded Webmaster viewers that the mobile-first indexing remains a text, similar to the “tons of tests” Google runs all the time, from ranking to color changes. Most of the time, when someone searches they are in the middle of some sort of test, he said. Search Marketing Daily