Last March Google initiated mobile-first indexing that allows the mobile version of a website to index its pages. It was welcomed by the webmasters and was widely used for more than half the web pages in Google search results.
Now, Google announced that it has added a “few tweaks” to Search Console Reports that will help you understand how Google is crawling your website!
As per the announcement, mobile-first indexing will now be the default for all new web domains as of July 1, 2019, allowing you to see if and when Google switched a site to mobile-first indexing or not.
- Google can now show you which Googlebot is indexing the site, i.e. is it Googlebot Desktop or Googlebot smartphone.
- Googlebot smartphone will give you the exact date it switched from desktop to smartphone crawling.
- It will not just helps you figure out any indexing or crawling issues, but will also see if any rankings changed after the switch-over.
How to check for mobile-first indexing of your website?
- You can continue to check it by using the URL Inspection Tool in Search Console.
- By looking at a URL on your website, you will find how it was crawled and indexed.
- For older websites, Google will continue monitoring and evaluating pages for their readiness for mobile first indexing, and will notify them through Search Console once they’re seen as being ready.
“Our guidance on making all websites work well for mobile-first indexing continues to be relevant, for new and existing sites. For existing websites we determine their readiness for mobile-first indexing based on parity of content (including text, images, videos, links), structured data, and other meta-data (for example, titles and descriptions, robots meta tags).” says Google.
A few recommendations:
- Google suggested double-checking the factors when a website is launched or significantly redesigned.
- Since Google continues to support responsive web design, dynamic serving, and separate mobile URLs for mobile websites, it is advised to use responsive web designs for new websites.
- To solve the associated issues and confusion which were witnessed over the years, from separate mobile URLs, Google recommends using a single URL for both desktop and mobile websites.
If you have any query, reach out to Google by filling the Webmaster Forum.