What you need to know about Google Mobile-First indexing


As part of Google’s ongoing efforts to make the internet more mobile friendly, they have incorporated mobile indexing first into their ranking process. So, if you want your website to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it will need to be optimized for mobile search on Google.

The institution of this new ranking process, however, has some small business owners concerned about what Google’s mobile first indexing will mean for their website and what they will need to do to prepare their sites for indexing. mobile first. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the basics of Google’s mobile indexing and the changes you should implement to ensure that your website will rank as high as possible for Google mobile first indexing.

what Google Mobile First indexing?

According to Google, “Mobile-oriented indexing means that Google primarily uses the mobile version of [your website’s] content for indexing and ranking. Previously, Google’s index used the desktop version of your website’s content to gauge the relevance of the page’s content to a user’s search query. However, since most people now use their mobile devices to access the Internet, Googlebot Smartphone indexes web pages designed for mobile search.

In fact, since July 1, 2019, “mobile first indexing [has been] enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or unknown to Google search). ” Google monitors and rates desktop web pages based on Google’s mobile indexing best practices for older or existing websites.

As Moz.com reiterates, “it’s called mobile-first indexing because it is not a motive-only index: For example, if a site does not have a mobile friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. But the lack of a mobile-friendly experience could negatively impact that site’s ranking, and a site with a better mobile experience would potentially receive improved rankings, even for searchers on a desktop.

Here’s a look at the difference between desktop and mobile indexing:

This process highlights the differences between Google's desktop and mobile indexing.

What is the difference between Mobile friendly vs mobile optimized?

It is important to understand that the phrase “mobile-driven indexing” should tell you that the mobile version of your website will now be considered the major version of your website. Until now, the desktop version of your website was considered the major version, but if you have been diligent in making changes to your site to ensure that mobile users have the same experience as users of desktop, Google’s mobile indexing should, in theory, have very little impact on your website’s search performance ranking.

If your website is mobile compatible, but you haven’t made sure that the desktop and mobile versions provide the same experience for visitors, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Structured data: According to Google, “If you have structured data on your site, make sure it’s present on both versions of your site. If you need to prioritize the types [of structured data] you add to your mobile site, start with Bread crumb, Product, and ObjectVideo structured data.
  • Metadata: Make sure to use the equivalent metadata titles and descriptions on desktop and mobile versions of your site. Official Google guidelines say that you should use “equivalent” rather than “identical” titles and metadata because if you can further optimize your mobile titles for a shorter number of characters, it provides a better user experience.
  • Social metadata: Twitter cards, OpenGraph tags, and other social metadata should always be included as part of your mobile indexing SEO process.
  • XML sitemaps and media: To make sure your site is ready for Google mobile indexing, review your site’s XML and multimedia sitemaps to make sure all links to sitemaps are accessible from both desktop and mobile versions. of your site, which also means reviewing robot guidelines. (robots.txt and meta-robots tags on the page) and signals of trust, such as links to your privacy policy page.
  • Contents: Make sure the mobile version of your site has all the same valuable content that you have on your desktop site, which includes videos, images (always include alt tags for images on both versions of your site), and text. Just make sure your mobile site’s formatting can be crawled and indexed.
  • Hreflang: If you are using rel = hreflang to allow your site to serve your content in different languages, regions, and countries, your mobile site’s hreflang tags should always point to the mobile version of your website, and desktop hreflang tags should point to the desktop version of your site.
  • Search Console Check: If you have only verified the desktop version of your site in Google Search Console, sign in to your account and add and verify the mobile version of your site as well.
  • Server capacity: If the mobile version of your website is on a separate host, make sure your host server can handle the increase exploration rate.

Remember that Google only uses a clue for any indexation. Google’s mobile indexing does not generate a new, separate mobile-first index. It’s just about changing the way content is added to the existing index, which is why it’s so important to make sure you have a complete mobile-first SEO indexing process for your website. .

* Photo credit: Moz.com

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