Why Mobile and Desktop Rankings Are Different

If you have ever wondered why your website ranks differently on mobile devices and desktop computers, you are not alone. Many webmasters and SEO professionals have noticed that Google sometimes shows different results for the same query depending on the device used. This can have a significant impact on your traffic and conversions, especially if your site is not optimized for mobile users.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why mobile and desktop rankings are different, and what you can do to improve your site’s performance across both platforms.

Mobile-First Indexing vs Ranking

One of the main factors that influence mobile and desktop rankings is mobile-first indexing. This is a technical process that Google uses to crawl and index web pages using a mobile user agent, instead of a desktop one. This means that Google will use the mobile version of your site as the primary source of information for ranking purposes.

Mobile-first indexing does not mean that Google will only show mobile-friendly pages in the search results. It also does not mean that mobile and desktop rankings will be exactly the same. Mobile-first indexing is just one of the many signals that Google uses to determine the relevance and quality of a web page for a given query.

User Intent and Context

Another factor that affects mobile and desktop rankings is user intent and context. Google tries to understand the intent behind a user’s query and provide the most relevant and useful results for their situation. This can vary depending on the device, location, time, and personal preferences of the user.

For example, if a user searches for “pizza” on their mobile phone, Google may assume that they are looking for a nearby pizza place to order from or visit. Therefore, Google may show more local results, maps, and directions on the mobile search results page. However, if the same user searches for “pizza” on their desktop computer, Google may assume that they are looking for general information about pizza, such as recipes, history, or nutrition facts. Therefore, Google may show more informational results, images, and videos on the desktop search results page.

Page Speed and Mobile-Friendliness

Another factor that influences mobile and desktop rankings is page speed and mobile-friendliness. Google has stated that page speed is a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop searches, as it affects the user experience and satisfaction. However, page speed may have a bigger impact on mobile searches, as mobile users tend to have less patience and higher expectations for fast loading pages.

Similarly, mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor that affects both mobile and desktop searches, but more so on mobile devices. Mobile-friendliness refers to how well a web page adapts to different screen sizes, orientations, and touch inputs. A mobile-friendly page should be easy to read, navigate, and interact with on a small screen, without requiring zooming, scrolling, or tapping. Google has a tool that can help you test the mobile-friendliness of your site.

How to Improve Your Mobile and Desktop Rankings

If you want to improve your mobile and desktop rankings, you need to optimize your site for both platforms and users. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

  • Use responsive web design to create a site that automatically adjusts to different screen sizes and devices.
  • Use a fast and reliable web hosting service to ensure your site loads quickly and smoothly.
  • Compress your images, videos, and other media files to reduce their size and loading time.
  • Minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to eliminate unnecessary spaces, comments, and characters.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your content across multiple servers and locations, reducing the distance and latency between your site and your users.
  • Implement caching and preloading techniques to store and serve your content faster and more efficiently.
  • Follow the web development best practices and guidelines from Google and other authoritative sources.
  • Use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to monitor and analyze your site’s performance, traffic, and user behavior.
  • Conduct regular audits and tests to identify and fix any issues or errors that may affect your site’s functionality, usability, and SEO.
  • Keep up with the latest trends and updates in the web industry and the search engine algorithms.

By following these tips, you can improve your site’s mobile and desktop rankings, and provide a better experience for your users. This can lead to more traffic, engagement, and conversions for your site, and ultimately, more success for your business.


Mobile and desktop rankings are different because Google uses different signals and factors to rank web pages for different devices and users. Mobile-first indexing, user intent and context, page speed and mobile-friendliness are some of the main reasons why your site may rank differently on mobile and desktop searches.

To improve your mobile and desktop rankings, you need to optimize your site for both platforms and users, following the best practices and tips we have shared in this blog post. By doing so, you can provide a better user experience and achieve higher visibility and authority in the search results.

We hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. If you need help with your Mobile SEO strategy, you can Contact Us.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a set of practices and strategies aimed at improving a website’s visibility in search engine results, primarily Google, by enhancing its relevance and authority.

SEO is crucial because it helps websites rank higher in search engine results. This increased visibility can lead to more organic (non-paid) traffic, which can be highly targeted and valuable for businesses and website owners.

The key elements of SEO include on-page optimization (e.g., keyword usage, content quality), off-page optimization (e.g., backlinks), technical SEO (e.g., site speed, mobile-friendliness), and user experience.


Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website for local search results. It’s essential for businesses targeting a local audience and includes activities like optimizing Google My Business profiles and getting local reviews.

On-page SEO refers to optimizing elements on your website’s pages, such as content, title tags, meta descriptions, and headers, to improve their relevance and ranking in search results.

Off-page SEO involves activities performed outside your website to improve its authority and reputation. This includes building high-quality backlinks, social media marketing, and influencer outreach.


Keywords are words or phrases that people use to search for information online. In SEO, keyword research is the process of identifying the terms and phrases that are relevant to your content and have a good search volume. These keywords are then strategically used in your content and meta-data.

Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. They are important because search engines often interpret them as votes of confidence and authority. High-quality, relevant backlinks can boost your website’s search engine ranking.

On-site SEO (or on-page SEO) refers to optimizing the elements and content on your website itself. Off-site SEO involves activities performed externally to your website, such as link building and social media marketing.

The time it takes to see results from SEO can vary widely depending on the competitiveness of your industry, the quality of your optimization efforts, and other factors. It’s not uncommon to start seeing noticeable results in a few months, but significant improvements may take six months to a year or more.

SEO is an ongoing process. Search engine algorithms change, and your competitors are constantly optimizing their websites. To maintain and improve your rankings, you should regularly monitor, update, and adapt your SEO strategy.

There are many SEO tools available, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and more. These tools help with keyword research, tracking rankings, analyzing backlinks, and monitoring website performance.

Yes, mobile SEO is essential. With the increasing use of mobile devices, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Ensuring your site is responsive and provides a good user experience on mobile devices is crucial for SEO.

Technical SEO focuses on optimizing the technical aspects of a website to improve its performance in search engines. This includes aspects like site speed, mobile-friendliness, structured data, and XML sitemaps.

Contact us

Get Started on Your Digital Journey

We’re here to address any inquiries you might have and assist in identifying the services that align perfectly with your requirements.
Your benefits:
What happens next?

We Schedule a call based on your availability

We conduct an exploratory and consulting session.
We create a tailored proposal
Schedule a Consultation
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.