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Will my insurance website be affected by mobile-first indexing?

Today customers search the internet for information about products and services more than ever before making it critically important to have a website accessible to users on any device they choose. In March of 2021, Google is making changes to mobile indexing, which could affect how your site ranks and how easily your customers can find you on the internet.


What is mobile-first indexing?

Before smartphones, Google only indexed one website for a business. As mobile devices became popular, companies started developing separate sites for mobile devices (referred to as m-dots or mobile sites.) These sites were often condensed versions of the desktop site.

In 2016, Google began crawling websites from a mobile-phone perspective, indexing your mobile site over your desktop site.

In March 2021, Google is switching to mobile-first indexing. Google will only consider your mobile site, even if you have both sites on your domain. If the content on your mobile and desktop sites doesn’t match, you could be removed from Google’s index, meaning neither site will show up when searched.


Will mobile-first indexing affect my insurance agency’s website?

If your site is built using responsive design, you won’t have an issue with this change. Responsive sites are built so the content on both sites, links, etc., is essentially the same.

If you have two separate websites, Google will crawl the mobile site and ignore the desktop site. At a recent marketing conference, John Mueller of Google said there are known bugs with crawling m-dot URLs. So even with a mobile site, Google may be unable to crawl it, resulting in lost placement in Google’s search engine results and a decrease in potential customers finding your website.


What can I do to make sure I don’t lose my rankings?

Contact your web developer to discuss the technology that is used on your site. If you don’t have a responsive site you should consider a plan to rebuild your site using responsive technology, or be prepared to address indexing issues once Google moves to mobile-first indexing.


Where can I find more information about this update?

Here are two resources that give more details about the upcoming mobile-first indexing change.

Google Webmaster Tools

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