Google Begins Testing Mobile First Indexing

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Googleis now testing mobile-first index mobile-first. The search giant wants to start looking primarily at mobile version of a website first when it comes to ranking signals. The desktop version will only be used when there is not mobile version available.

Mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches. And while the company had indicated previously about shifting focus to mobile-first indexing, this is the first time Google has made its intent official about moving from the desktop version to mobile version.

Google said this about mobile-first indexing“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”

Google recommends a number of things that need to be considered while preparing for the upcoming change;

  • Websites with responsive design or a dynamic serving site that has the same primary content and markup for both mobile and desktop, need not make any changes.
  • Websites with different primary content and markup for mobile and desktop, can do the following;
      • Serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version. Webmasters can use the Structured Data Testing Tool to test the URLs of both versions.
      • Be careful about adding markup; if it isn’t relevant to the content in each document, don’t include it.
      • Check the accessibility of the mobile version to Google-bots with robots.txt testing tool.
      • There is no need to touch canonical links; Google will continue to use these links when deciding which results are appropriate to desktop or mobile searches.
  • Website owners who have recently verified their desktop site in Search Console will need to add and verify their mobile version.

At present Google is experimenting with the new mobile-first index on a very small scale. Once a wider and more extensive understanding of the impact and use of the index is confirmed, the company will go ahead with a full scale implementation.

For more information on mobile-first indexing visit this page.

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