In a move that underscores the growing importance of mobile search, Google will soon begin indexing search results separately for mobile and desktop users. Not only that, but the new mobile index will eventually become the primary one – officially placing desktop search on the backburner.
Currently, all of Google’s results are pulled from a single index of documents regardless of whether the search is performed on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. After the split, the desktop index will still exist and play an active role in search results for users on computers, but it will be updated less frequently than its mobile counterpart.
Google’s Gary Illyes made the announcement during his keynote at Pubcon in Las Vegas. He explained that the search engine giant is planning to split up its index to give mobile searchers the most up-to-date, relevant results available. Although Illyes didn’t provide an exact timeline for the update, Google’s new mobile index is expected to roll out sometime within the next few months.
Better Search Results for Mobile Users
Dividing mobile and desktop search results into two separate indexes will allow Google to serve up the best possible content to mobile users. The popularity of mobile search has already overtaken desktop search, so it makes perfect sense that the world’s biggest search engine would alter its index to reflect this.
Since the mobile index will be updated more frequently than the desktop index, it could become even less common to conduct searches on a computer. However, it remains to be seen how great the variance will be between search results on different devices.
It’s also unclear if and how the new indexing system will impact website rankings – though it seems likely that having a fast-loading, mobile-friendly website will become even more important after the update.