Google Search engine is finally getting the mobile-first indexing feature after carrying out tests and experiments over the past year and a half – and a limited rollout in December.
After 20 years and offering its life-changing services in 123 languages, Google Search has taken a symbolic, yet important step this week. Finally, after months over months of extensive testing, world’s largest and most influential search engine has moved on to emphasising more on mobile search. Well, this isn’t a surprise since Google announced that it was looking at mobile-first as an important shift in indexing which it takes seriously – back in 2016. And now, Google has begun migrating websites that follow best practices towards mobile-first indexing.
The switch to mobile-first indexing comes as an increasing number of people are now using mobile devices to search on the Internet. So far, Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have been using the desktop version of a page’s content, which caused glitches for mobile searchers. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help mobile users find what they’re looking for, instead of looking into desktop versions of websites. Interestingly, Google insists that the content gathered by mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over desktop content. Moreover desktop-only content will continue to be represented in Google’s index.
Mobile-first indexing idea was adopted by Google since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device and the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. If you own a website and have separate desktop and mobile content, well you will have to follow some new guidelines to best practice mobile-first indexing. First would be – the mobile version of website must contain the same amount of content as desktop version. Second, URLs in structured data should be present on both versions. And third, titles and meta-descriptions are equivalent across both versions of your site.