Mobile-first Indexing

Mobile-first indexing was introduced in 2018 and means that Google will consider the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages and to understand and collect further data from a site. It is therefore important to ensure the mobile version of your site is optimised for both users and search engine crawlers. Our Hangout Notes for mobile first indexing explain these requirements, along with providing advice from Google.

There Isn’t a Separate Index for Mobile and Desktop Indexing

July 26, 2019 Source

Google have one main index where either the mobile or desktop version of a site is contained, this is the version which will then be shown in search results. However, if you have a seperate mobile site, Google will always show this version to users on a mobile device.

New Sites Will be on Mobile-first Indexing by Default

May 31, 2019 Source

Google is now switching to mobile-first indexing by default for new websites.

Ensure Google is Able to Crawl All Resources Required for Mobile Friendliness

May 17, 2019 Source

When testing sites for mobile friendliness, Google needs to render the page and will be unable to confirm if it is mobile friendly if it cannot access all of the content and resources required. The Mobile Friendly Testing tool can be used to check if there are any resources required for mobile friendliness that are blocked e.g. CSS or JavaScript.

Mobile-first Indexing Rolled Out to Over 50% of Websites

May 1, 2019 Source

Google has switched over to mobile-first indexing for over 50% of websites and the team is on track with regards to rolling this out to the remainder of websites.

Sites Are Only Moved to Mobile First Indexing When They Are Classified as Ready

November 30, 2018 Source

Google has a classifier to measure if a site is ready to be moved to mobile indexing. If a site has not yet been moved to mobile first, it may be because the classifier has determined the site is not ready, or just that Google has not yet reached that site yet. Google is going to add some information in Search Console next year to highlight any issues preventing a site being moved to Mobile First Indexing.

HTTP/HTTPS & www/non-www Versions to be Switched to Mobile-first Index Separately

July 13, 2018 Source

Mobile-first indexing is done on a per site level, meaning HTTP/HTTPS and www/non-www are treated separately and will receive notifications about being switched over individually.

Google Committed To Switching To Mobile-first On Step-by-Step Basis

August 25, 2017 Source

Mobile-first Index isn’t running behind schedule. Google announced this was the direction they are headed in to give webmasters time to start making changes for the switch. Google is committed to switching over to the Mobile-first Index on a step-by-step basis for groups of sites that are ready.

Google Will Likely Move to Mobile-First Indexing in Batches

May 2, 2017 Source

Google will likely provide provide guidance on when more changes can be expected. It’s probable they’ll move over batches of sites that work fine on mobile-first indexing first.

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