Mobile First Indexing Explanation
In simple words Mobile First Indexing is:
“Mobile First Indexing is a process of Indexing a Website using Smart Phone like User Agent.”
What Google Says:
“Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot primarily crawls and indexes pages with the smartphone agent going forward.”
Google started working on it a few years agao as they noticed that most users are now using smart phones to access the websites.
Myth: Mobile First Indexing is related to Mobile Friendliness
Truth: Mobile First indexing is separate from Mobile Friendliness of a website. Even sites don’t have a Mobile version at all can be indexed fine with their Mobile Google Path.
Google’s goal is to use the Mobile First Indexing for all webiste in it’s search results. Google system take its time to make sure that users will continue to able to find what they are looking for and to help the site owners to adapt should there is somthing they need to do.
We’ve found that the most of the part sites can be indexed fine with the Mobile Devices.
First, Google is algorithmically tested to see when the websites are ready and switching them over one such case. To determine when a site is ready they compared the mobile and the desktop versions to make sure, that they are still able to find all of the content including “Structured Data” and “Images”. With the longer term goal of the moving all the sites over to “Mobile First Indexing”, Google didn’t provide opt-in/opt-out for this kinf of indexing.
It’s important to note that there isn’t a separate mobile-first index; Google Search continues to use only one Index. Google Search continues to show the URL that is the most appropriate to users (whether it’s a desktop or mobile URL) in Search results.
Best practices for dynamic serving and separate URLs
If your site has separate desktop and mobile content, which means you have a dynamic serving or separate URLs (or m-dot) site, make sure you follow the best practices below to prepare for mobile-first indexing:
- Your mobile site should contain the same content as your desktop site. If your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, you should consider updating your mobile site so that its primary content is equivalent with your desktop site. This includes text, images (with alt-attributes), and videos – in the usual crawlable and indexable formats.
- Structured data should be present on both versions of your site. Make sure URLs in the structured data on the mobile versions are updated to the mobile URLs. If you use Data Highlighter to provide structured data, regularly check the Data Highlighter dashboard for extraction errors.
- Metadata should be present on both versions of the site. Make sure that titles and meta descriptions are equivalent across both versions of your site.
Additional best practices for separate URLs
If your site has separate URLs (also known as m-dot), there are additional best practices you should follow.
- Verify both versions of your site in Search Console to make sure you have access to data and messages for both versions. Your site may experience a data shift when Google switches to mobile-first indexing for your site.
- Check hreflang links on separate URLs. When you use
rel=hreflanglink elements for internationalization, link between mobile and desktop URLs separately. Your mobile URLs’ hreflang should point to mobile URLs, and similarly desktop URL hreflang should point to desktop URLs.
Example of hreflang for separate URLs
- Ensure your servers have enough capacity to a handle potential increase in crawl rate on the mobile version of your site.
- Verify that your robots.txt directives and robots meta tags work as you intended for both versions of your site. The robots.txt file lets you specify which parts of a website may be crawled or not, and the robots meta tags let you specify which parts of a website may be indexed or not. In most cases, sites should use the same robots.txt directives and robots meta tags for both mobile and desktop versions of their sites.
- Make sure you have the correct
rel=alternatelink elements between your mobile and desktop versions.
rel=alternatefor separate URLs