google_-g-_logo-svgEarlier this month, Google announced at the digital marketing conference Pubcon that they will be creating a separate index based on mobile searches. This mobile first index will be the company’s primary search index, with the current desktop index becoming a secondary, backup index, even for desktop searches.

As mobile searches continue to outpace desktop searches, this announcement comes as no surprise to those of us working in the search and information industry. However, it could have a drastic impact on current search rankings and means that websites may potentially rank differently depending on whether a user is searching on a desktop or a mobile device.

This is just another sign that Google is continuing to prioritize mobile searches (and subsequently mobile friendly websites) over desktop. For small businesses, it means that having attractive, content-rich, responsive websites will be even more critical in order to rank well and get a positive ROI from their digital marketing investment.

Jon Stribling, Spotzer’s Chief Digital Officer, commented, “Google’s switch to a mobile first index validates the mobile first approach we’ve taken with our products at Spotzer. While companies scramble to adapt their sites, we have placed our partners and their clients in the perfect position to weather this change not only with ease, but also with the potential to see an uptick in rank and performance.”

Google did not give an exact timeline for the roll-out of the mobile first index but confirmed with the blog Search Engine Land that it would happen in the next couple of months.