Mobile-first indexing allows Googlebot to display the mobile version of pages in its SERPs by default. Previously, Google's crawling, indexing, and ranking systems used the desktop version of website content, which can cause ranking issues for mobile users when there is a significant difference between desktop and mobile versions of the same page. Google started rolling out mobile-first indexing in March 2018, but the search engine isn't finished yet. This article tells you everything you need to know about mobile-first indexing and what to do if your site hasn't changed. Has our site moved to mobile-first indexing? If your site has already switched to mobile-first indexing, you will have received an email from Google, titled "Mobile-first indexing enabled for [domain]" for each website. Can confirm. Also for unimportant sites that aren't particularly optimized for mobile or anything. pic8 If you haven't seen this email yet, you can check if your site has moved by using the URL Inspection tool in Search Console. You can check any URL on your website to see how it was last crawled and indexed by Google. Search Console showing if the site has been crawled for mobile-first indexing Note: You will only see a difference in the URL Inspection tool if you have separate mobile versions of the same page. Responsive sites are not affected and mobile-first indexing will not have a significant impact. If your website still hasn't transitioned to mobile-first indexing, it's probably only a matter of time. When the change is made, you should receive the notification email mentioned above, as well as a notification in Search Console for each affected domain. Google Search Console showing mobile-first indexing has been enabled After that, you will see a significant increase in Google's mobile bot crawl rate and the mobile version of your pages will start showing up in search results (if you have separate mobile pages).
For responsive, desktop-only websites, nothing should change other than the increased crawl rate, but it's a good idea to audit after receiving this notification to ensure that nothing abnormal is happening. As of July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is the default for all new domains, meaning all websites created since then will already be indexed on a mobile-first basis. Is there a way to speed things up? Google is taking its time with mobile-first indexing because it wants to ensure that the migration has little to no negative impact on websites that provide positive mobile experiences. This is a change that affects every page indexed by Google and should be as minimally disruptive as possible. If your site hasn't moved yet, that doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong. However, last year Google explicitly said it started by migrating sites "that follow best practices for mobile-first indexing ." Since then, regarding sites that have yet to switch, he said, "We will continue to monitor and assess pages for readiness for mobile-first indexing." So, if your website hasn't yet switched to whatsapp mobile number list mobile-first indexing, make sure you've followed the best practices set out by Google. How to prepare for mobile-first indexing Google has released instructions on how to prepare for mobile-first indexing and any issues here could impede change. If you serve separate mobile and desktop pages or use dynamic content serving for different device types, ensure the following items are covered before deploying mobile-first indexing. Your mobile and desktop pages contain the same content Both versions of your page have the necessary structured data Both versions of your page have the necessary metadata Both versions of your page are verified in Search Console All rel=hreflang tags for internationalization include separate links for mobile and desktop URLs Your servers can handle any increase in crawl rate for the mobile version of your site Your robot.txt directives are the same (and optimized) for desktop and mobile versions Proper use of rel=canonical and rel=alternate link elements between mobile and desktop versions
Again, these are all common mobile optimization best practices and none of this should be new to you. There's nothing wrong with having separate mobile and desktop sites, as long as they're properly optimized, and - let's be honest - there are plenty of responsive websites that are poorly optimized for mobile. If you need a lot of work getting your pages ready for mobile-first indexing, then it might be worth switching to a responsive design while you're at it. However, a well-optimized experience shared between mobile and desktop pages will always be better than a poorly optimized responsive experience – so don't lose sight of the end result in favor of a more popular process. Mobile-first indexing FAQ Now that you know how to check your website's Mobile First status and how to prepare for the change, let's address some of the most common questions we receive about Mobile First indexing. What is mobile-first indexing? Before giving our explanation of mobile-first indexing, let's take a look at the description Google offered when announcing the rollout:“To recap, our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page's content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is significantly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our primarily mobile users find what they are looking for. – Central webmaster blogThat's about the best, short description of mobile-first indexing we've seen in the past few years. Essentially, it all boils down to the fact that the majority of Google searches are done on mobile, but the results are still formulated by a system that ranks desktop pages first.
The problem is that mobile pages often differ from their desktop alternatives, and it makes little sense to send people to desktop-optimized pages when using mobile. Mobile-first indexing shifts priority to the mobile version of pages to create better results and experiences for Google's mobile-first users. This doesn't mean Google is going mobile-only or creating a separate index for mobile and desktop results. It just means mobile pages will be crawled first and Google will fall back to desktop if no mobile version is found. What does mobile-first indexing mean for SEO? While mobile indexing sounds like a huge deal that will change how Google Search works, the impact on most SEOs and website owners will be minimal. We certainly don't envision another mobilegeddon and there's no need to panic as mobile-first indexing rolls out. However, it is important to know whether or not you will be affected, to what extent and what you should do about it. How will this affect my search rankings? It entirely depends on how mobile-optimized your website and pages are. First, if your website is responsively designed – in other words, your mobile and desktop pages are identical – then you shouldn't be affected by mobile-first indexing. In these cases, your mobile and desktop pages are identical and simply adapt to fit different screen sizes, which is Google's recommended design approach for mobile optimization. The websites that will be most affected by mobile-first indexing are those that provide separate mobile and desktop pages to users, depending on the device they are using. In this scenario, the mobile version will now be crawled first and this could impact your search rankings for a number of reasons:
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