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Google’s John Mueller emphasizes desktop website importance

"Desktop Website Importance"
“Desktop Website Importance”

John Mueller of Google recently addressed a query about the relevance of refining a website’s desktop version, given the rising trend toward mobile-first indexing. Mueller emphasizes that while Google is progressively shifting towards mobile indexing, it’s crucial not to neglect the desktop versions of websites.

He points out that Google still indexes desktop content, and a reasonable proportion of users access sites via desktop. As a result, ignoring the desktop version could lower user experience and impact a site’s overall performance in Google’s search engine. Mueller says both versions should be equally maintained and improved for optimal performance and usability.

Google has set a date for a significant change: after July 5, 2024, the company will transition from desktop Googlebot crawling to mobile Googlebot crawling. Post this date, non-mobile-optimized websites won’t be indexed. Therefore, web developers must ponder whether to improve a website’s desktop version or focus more on making mobile-friendly versions.

The key lies in understanding the target audience and the nature of the business.

Balancing desktop and mobile website optimization

Suppose a large section of your audience uses desktop devices to access your services. In that case, it certainly makes sense to keep polishing the desktop version while recognizing the increasing trend toward mobile usage. Mueller advises that focusing on both mobile and desktop versions’ quality should be the utmost goal as Google appreciates websites offering faster loading times and user-friendly interfaces, irrespective of the device used.

Advocating for a streamlined process, Mueller suggests the merits of adopting a responsive design approach that adapts to both mobile and desktop users, eliminating the need to manage separate versions. This approach is cost-effective and ensures consistency in user experience across devices. Besides, such a design is easier to crawl, index, and organize for search engines, enhancing search visibility.

Despite the evident shift towards mobile-focused usability, desktop compatibility remains significant. Mueller stresses that maintaining a desktop-friendly website is vital for SEO user convenience and revenue growth since many users, search engines, and crawlers still access websites via desktop.

In conclusion, even as Google leans towards a mobile-centric indexing strategy, the necessity to maintain and enhance a website’s desktop version persists. The goal is to make the site user-centric and accessible on all devices, optimizing for both mobile and desktop versions. This approach appreciates diverse user preferences, caters to search engine guidelines, and sustains website visibility across various devices.

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