The Specter of a Mobile SERPs Index

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A tweet from Gary Illyes has some webmasters speculating about a future "mobile only" index.

Here's a thread on WebmasterWorld with more details. WMW admin engine sums the idea up thusly: "Think about it - a mobile only index in effect will not show desktop only sites. It does seem an odd message...but the facts are that your site really needs to be mobile friendly or you may find your desktop site loses even more traffic than it had previously. In any case, when I'm on mobile and it's a desktop only site, it's really difficult to user, and that's one of Google's objectives: to make its search most relevant to users."

It would certainly be interesting - and I agree that it seems to line up with Google's continuing focus on mobile devices. Also with their professed desire to improve user experience. If they want webmasters to take mobile/responsiveness seriously, it makes sense to further punish desktop-only sites somehow and encourage them to switch. One user, Kelowna, in the above thread brings up another interesting point - what about .gov sites and other "big players who don't follow all Google's whims."

It's all speculation for now, of course. A tweet doesn't mean that a mobile index is a promise.