Mobile-First Indexing

In this article, you’ll learn about what Google looks for in mobile usability, what it means to have similar mobile and desktop user experiences, mobile-first best practices, and more.

Here’s what we know about Google’s mobile-first indexing:

  1. There is No Separate Index for Mobile: Google has declared that there is no separate indexation for the mobile-first index. Generally, Google uses the mobile version of the webpage when it comes to ranking and indexing.
  2. Mobile-First Indexing Rollout: In June 2020, Google stated that whilst maximum websites had been set to mobile indexing, there were nonetheless many that were not. Google reported a number of issues encountered with sites as a purpose for delaying the rollout, including issues with robots meta tags, lazy-loading, blocked property, primary content, and more. Later, Google Search Advocate, John Mueller said no longer than March 2021 all websites will be moved over.
  3. By Default Mobile-First Indexing: Mobile-first indexing is enabled by default in case your website was published after July 1, 2019. After crawling the web with a smartphone Googlebot over the years, Google concluded that new websites are ready for this type of crawling.
  4. Mobile Usability and Mobile-First Indexing are NOT SAME: Even though Google Search Console shows your URLs are valid, it does not mean these are ready for mobile-first indexing. Mueller says that even if pages are not usable on the mobile device, they can be enabled for mobile-first indexing.
  5. Websites Should Provide the Same Experience on Mobile & Desktop: Google emphasized was on providing indistinguishable experiences on mobile and desktop.

Here’s what Google meant by the similar experience:

  • Ensure Googlebot can access and interpret mobile and desktop page content and resources.
  • The same content should be present on mobile and desktop sites.
  • Same meta robots tags must be implemented on the mobile and desktop sites.
  • Same headings must be implemented on the mobile site and desktop site.
  • Have the same structured data for mobile and desktop sites.

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