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Google to launch mobile-first search index

In his keynote address at digital marketing conference Pubcon last week, Google’s Gary Illyes announced the search engine company will be adopting a mobile-first approach to search in the coming months.

According to Illyes, Google is developing a mobile search index which will become the primary index it uses to respond to queries. The company will maintain a separate desktop search index, but it will not be as up-to-date as the mobile one.

Currently, Google has one search index that it uses to respond to queries on both mobile and desktop devices. But as people increasingly search on their mobile devices (desktop searches are now the minority overall), it makes sense to optimise results for the mobile channel.

Specific details about how this change will affect site rankings have not yet been released, but it’s probably a good idea for retailers to take a closer look at their mobile sites in the coming months.

For instance, retailers may have removed some content or certain functions from their mobile sites in order to streamline the site for smaller screens. But if this becomes the primary entry point for customers, will they have access to all the information they need to make a purchase?

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