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Is your automotive website ready for the mobile first index? Google announced they are moving from desktop to a mobile first index for ranking their search results, which means that responsive dealer websites will have an advantage. If your automotive website is not mobile-friendly, this change will impact how your site appears to both desktop and mobile users.
The Google search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, but Google algorithms will eventually use the mobile version of automotive websites to rank pages, understand structured data, and show snippets in the search results.
The primary index will be built from mobile pages and the secondary index will be for desktop users. Responsive dealer websites automatically adjust web pages to be viewed on both mobile and desktop devices. Google says they will continue to experiment over the coming months and ramp up the change when they are confident about a great user experience.
Recommendations from Google to help prepare for a mobile-first index:
If you have a responsive auto dealer website where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
If your automotive website does not have responsive design, you should consider using structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version. When adding structured data to a mobile site, avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document. Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot. Sites do not have to make changes to their canonical links. If you have only verified your desktop website in Search Console, add and verify your mobile website version. If you only have a desktop website, Google will continue to index your desktop site, even if they are using a mobile user agent to view your site. If you are building a mobile version of your website, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile website. It’s better to build up your mobile website and launch it when ready.