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Google's Mobile First Indexing

Should you update your website for Google's mobile-first indexing?

Google's Mobile First Indexing

Google's Mobile First Indexing Coming September 2020

These days most people search on Google from a mobile device. Google has been ranking sites based on the desktop version of a site. However, Google is shifting focus to mobile versions of sites to reflect how people are now using their service. Google's analysis has shown that 70% of websites are mobile-ready. This leaves many sites unprepared for the shift in search results coming in September 2020.

Google uses the Googlebot crawler to index mobile sites. It uses a mobile browser to view sites for indexing. Sites without mobile optimization will be ranked poorly by Googlebot's crawler as it indexes a site. Google will eventually index the desktop version of a site once all mobile sites have been indexed. But until a desktop-only site is indexed by the desktop Googlebot, it will sink lower down the Google search results costing you valuable leads.

Ranking higher on Google's mobile-focused index:

  • If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
  • If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site.
    • Make sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
      Sites can verify the equivalence of their structured markup across desktop and mobile by typing the URLs of both versions into the Structured Data Testing Tool and comparing the output.
      When adding structured data to a mobile site, avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document.
    • Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
    • Sites do not have to make changes to their canonical links; we’ll continue to use these links as guides to serve the appropriate results to a user searching on desktop or mobile.
  • If you are a site owner who has only verified their desktop site in Search Console, please add and verify your mobile version.
  • If you only have a desktop site, we'll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we're using a mobile user agent to view your site.
    If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site. It's better for you to build up your mobile site and launch it when ready.

  From Google Webmasters Central Blog: Mobile-first Indexing

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