Google is ‘mobile first’ – what does that mean for your self-catering business?

Earlier this year, internet giant Google announced that they’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing:

Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.

This means that if your self-catering website’s not mobile-friendly, you’ll be demoted in search rankings – regardless of what type of device the search is being made on.

The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is 5.135 billion (up 4% year-on-year), that’s two-thirds of the world’s population. Another stat worth a mention is that smartphones are the preferred choice for going online for over half of the population.¹

What does this mean for your holiday rental business?

The guest’s buying experience – from researching which holiday rental to choose, to checking what tourist attractions are close-by, to booking and paying for their holiday online, needs to be straightforward.  Mobile-friendly websites appear higher in search results, are easy to navigate on any device and enable guests to book a holiday at your property at any time they want. With Google prioritising mobile-friendly sites, the chances of your holiday accommodation appearing high enough in search results to be considered is significantly reduced if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

What can you do?

All of SuperControl’s booking calendars and checkout pages have dedicated mobile versions. If the rest of your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, now’s the time to do some research and make changes.

  • Find out how mobile-friendly your self-catering website is. There are lots of free online tools available to check this, including Google’s own.
  • Have a look at this Google article which further explains Best practices for mobile-first indexing.
  • As of July this year, page speed is also a ranking factor for mobile searches. You can perform a speed test using free online tools such as Insights, or go to PageSpeedInsights for analysis and recommendations about making your web pages fast on all devices.

Nb. We work with lots of great developers here at SuperControl so if you need us to point you in their direction, please get in touch.

Takeaway advice

Times have changed and people are doing a lot more on their phones than staying in touch. If your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, consider the shift soon. If not for the update Google is pushing, then for potential guest’s ease of booking from their preferred device – the mobile.

¹ Source: