Mobile has been ever growing in importance for brands and advertisers due to the growth of usage by consumers.

In recent news, Google announced it is splitting its search index between mobile and desktop, prioritising mobile. This is likely to affect brands across the board, so it needs to be a consideration for marketers.

Google will begin indexing mobile and desktop search results separately.
Google will begin indexing mobile and desktop search results separately.

At present, Google has a single index for organic search, where mobile rankings are determined by extracting data from the desktop version and modifying it for use on mobile.

The news follows the company’s mobile-first stance, revealing that “within months” Google is going to divide this indexing, treating mobile pages separately from desktop pages with a specific mobile-dedicated algorithm. The impact of this development is that users on mobile devices will get the most relevant results quicker than desktop users, showing how mobile is a priority across the market.

As with most major Google algorithm updates, this will affect brands, both publishers and advertisers. All brands will need to ensure their sites are responsive or mobile-friendly to make sure they are indexed in the rankings, which, surprisingly, is still not at 100%.

Advertisers that have separate mobile and desktop sites where content varies will need to assess the content on the mobile version since it will become the standard version for organic search result indexes. For news brands, desktop results will be as accurate as the mobile searches, but real-time searchers will yield better results from mobile devices.

All in all, it will be interesting to see the impact of this update, but for now it shows the importance of mobile. As yet, Google hasn’t given further detail of how the index will work, and it is unlikely to reveal full detail.

Therefore, brands and advertisers must be aware and put in place the necessary basics in their mobile set-up. It shows how important it is to truly understand the behaviour of people on mobile, rather than being channel neutral.