A recent announcement made by Google states that effective 1st of July – every website that isn’t currently known by the search engine will be indexed using their mobile-first indexing.
As it rolls out in its initial phase, websites that are older will not be indexed in the same way until they have been fully optimised for the new process.
Google’s statement on mobile-first indexing
Beginning 1stof July, mobile-first indexing will become the new default for all new websites that is currently not known in Google Search. Ideally, Google’s main purpose for this move is to ensure that both search engines and users are able to view the same content on both desktop and mobile devices – bringing us back full circle to the often talked about User Experience.
New websites first
Google emphasised that only new websites that Google is not aware of will be, by default, subjected to mobile-first indexing. This is in addition to any other website that have voluntarily made the switch to mobile-first indexing.
Meaning to say that older websites that have not migrated will still be indexed using their desktop version – until they have proven themselves sufficiently prepared and ready.
Till then, they will be continuously and closely monitored by Google – who will inform them of their eligibility through Google Search Console once the green light has been given.
Notifications not available
Important to take note: older websites will no longer be receiving notifications after switching to mobile-first indexing. Make sure that you are clear of which side you are on by checking with your Digital Marketing Agency, who should already be ensuring that your website is mobile-optimised.
Steps to take
The process of crawling and indexing by Google has always been done by searching how websites appear as a desktop version.
In mobile-first indexing, however, Google will now look at how a website appears on a mobile device instead. Put differently, how a website renders and displays on a mobile phone will now be the new default parameter.
Seeing that more than half of everything that Google currently indexes are subjected through the mobile-first indexing process – site owners are highly advised to review and readjust their alt-text and structured data for images that is compatible with mobile screens.
In fact, joining an SEO Course is the best way to start learning more about on-page optimisation and writing excellent meta tags and descriptions that are mobile-friendly.
Previously, websites that were indexed using their desktop content are used to show listings for both desktop and mobile users. A ranking system is then applied to gauge its mobile-friendliness – which helps to boost their content for ranking on Google.
With the implementation of mobile-first indexing, this process still applies – albeit with a more direct focus on mobile-friendliness as opposed to being a supplementary criteria.
As a result, websites now need to shift their focus to ensuring their websites are primarily mobile-friendly in order to stay on top of their SEO game. And so should you!