You have probably received an email from the Google Search Console notifying you that Mobile First Index is already active on your site (or sites). If you have not received this email yet, do not worry, as it is most likely that you will receive it soon, given that Mobile First Index has already become a reality that expects to be present in all web pages in a short time.
The company said that the new indexing system Google will work with all new sites created from July 1, 2019.
For older sites, nothing will change: Google will monitor the quality of their mobile versions and report on their readiness to switch to a new index via the account in the Search Console.
The site indexing system in Google used to rank desktop versions of sites for ranking. The problem is that the full version of some resources can be very different from mobile. Indexing mobile-first means that the mobile version of the portal pages will be indexed. The idea: to help mobile users quickly find what they are looking for. There is still one index, which is based on search results. Separate mobile, separated from the main index, no. Now, Google will increasingly index mobile versions first.
If the site is transferred to mobile indexing, the webmaster will receive a notification in the Google console. Of the obvious advantages – the acceleration of indexing Googlebot Smartphone. The issue will also show the mobile version of the site. Learn more about how indexing for mobile devices will work, described on Google. The guide describes how it looks for portals that use adaptive layout. It is also noted that if there are pages with AMP technology and without it, the priority of indexation will be given to pages without AMP.
The first wave of transferring resources to such indexing is already running. If your site does not hit it – no reason to worry. For now, it is important for Google to collect content as part of indexing for mobile devices, and not to evaluate its quality. The materials collected by this method do not receive any advantages over the rest of the content. If your resource has not yet been transferred to mobile indexing, the portal will still remain in the search engine index.
What change does the Google Mobile First Index mean?
On the contrary of what we had before, with Mobile First Index, Google’s robot will review our website in a different way, because it will be as if the user were browsing from a mobile device. This change is due to the increasing number of users surfing the Internet using their mobile devices, and until 2018, the number of users who used their smartphones to surf the Internet was up to 52.2 %, while, in 2015, it did not exceed 32%.
As a result of this change, several doubts are already arising.
What will happen to desktop pages?
If your website is responsive, you have nothing to worry about, because this update will not affect you that much. In the case that it is not responsive, you should keep it in mind, because Google penalizes those websites that do not adapt to mobile devices.
We must bear in mind that Google’s robot will not work exclusively with the mobile versions, but that, as its name suggests, it will take into account mainly the mobile version. And, in the event that our website does not have a mobile version, it will track the desktop version.
How do I know if the Mobile First Index has been applied to my website?
Google will implement this change gradually, starting with those websites that it considers to be ready, with the minimum impact with the change. At this point, it is possible that your website has already been affected by the change. How can we make sure? Checking if we have received a message from Search Console similar to the following and, once the message is received, the Google mobile robot will crawl your website more frequently.
How can you change the positioning of my website?
We can meet with the following cases:
- Your website does not adapt to mobile devices. Google has already penalized you for it, so you will not notice important changes.
- Your website has a mobile version and desktop version and the contents are the same in both versions: You will not have a negative impact since, when indexing the mobile version, you will find the same content.
- The contents are different in both versions: You can be affected, given that Google will read the mobile version and if it finds that it is different from the desktop version, you will see variations in your rankings.
What can I do so that Mobile First Index does not affect me negatively?
Page with a mobile version
At this point of the article, it is more than clear that, if you do not have a mobile version, you will still be penalized. Therefore, our first recommendation will be that, if you do not have this version, you can create one.
Equal contents in the different versions
It is very important that both pages have the same content. If in the mobile version you hide the user much of the information and in the desktop version of the samples, you will be showing different content in both versions, even if the page is the same.
Different contents in different versions
If this is your case, we suggest that you review the following points and make sure that this new change does not affect you:
- Content- It is important that the content considered important be available in both versions, whether it is text, images, videos, etc. and their attributes (alt, etc.).
- Structure of the information- It must have the same format of structured data in both versions, that is, make sure that the version with the mobile data has the correct URL (the “m.” In front of the URL).
- Metadata- All metadata must be the same in both versions.
- Social metadata- Social metadata should be included in both versions.
- Sitemap- Check that the link to the sitemap is accessible in both versions and that the content of these is correct.
- Server capacity- Keep in mind that Google’s robot will track your website more frequently, so it confirms that your server can handle a higher tracking rate.
- Search Console. Remember to check the mobile version in Search Console if you have not already done so.
The growing number of users with mobile devices and new browsing habits have led Google to take measures, adapting this new behavior of users to these changes, to offer the best response in their searches.
Whether you have a personal or business website, we suggest you adapt to these changes that Google is making so that your positioning and visits are not affected.
Mobile First Index has ceased to be a dream and has become a reality, so we recommend that you review thoroughly if it has already affected you or if, on the contrary, you still have a margin to apply the necessary changes.