google-thumbWithin months, Google will be creating a separate mobile index, which will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries.  Even though there will still be a desktop index for all the desktop users, the one designed for mobile indexing will be more up-to-date than the desktop version.

This news came during a keynote address from Gary Illyes on October 13th, at Pubcon.  Illyes didn’t give much of a timeline, but he did confirm that it would happen within “months” later during a follow-up with Search Engine Land.

The experiment with a mobile index was first announced by Google last year at SMX East.  Since then, it was clear that Google had decided that a mobile index makes sense and is moving ahead with the idea.

So how will the mobile work?  Right now, it seems to be unclear.  One question that comes up is, if the mobile index is the “primary” index, will it not be used for any desktop queires?  Will there only be “mobile-friendly” content?  How out of date will the desktop index be?

The biggest change will probably be  that by having a separate mobile index, Google will be able to run its ranking algorithm differently across “pure” mobile content, rather than the current system that extracts data from desktop content to determine mobile rankings.

Here are a few of the tweets from his talk that shed a little light on the coming change, but not by much:

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