Nov 9, 2016 113 readsby Ritu Sharma

Google has started experimenting to make index-mobile first. The search index will remain a single index of websites and apps, Google’s algorithms will primarily use the mobile version of the website content to rank website pages, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in search results. This will happen eventually.

This announcement was made in an official webmasters blogpost. Goole said, “Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.”

Google says it’s an important update and they are taking it seriously. The experimenting will continue over coming months on a small scale and once they are confident about the great user experience, they will ramp it up. Here are the recommendations for the webmasters.

  • 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.  

Google Begins Mobile-First Indexing!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Ritu Sharma
Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Adwords Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently oversees Content Marketing operations of PageTraffic in India.
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