Has the Google started Mobile-First Indexing?Posted by Joe / November 10th, 2016 / No responses
Google’s mobile-first indexing was just a strong rumor until now in the SEO world. But now, Google has finally started experimenting the approach for looking at the mobile content first, rather than the desktop while raking your pages in its SERPs. No official confirmation was provided from the Google’s webmasters until now. Except on 4th November, finally the words came from the webmasters.googleblog that the ranking system is going to be revised in the coming days and would have a considerable effect on your desktop as well as mobile SEO. The experiments have already been started in a small scale.
Google says, they understand the statistics that confirm the involvement of mobile devices in the major proportion of the queries on Google’s Search Engine. They also, mentioned that the new system will not simply discard the typical look up at the desktop version as it would be an unfair treatment to the websites who use lesser content on mobile pages than the desktop pages.
This step defines the intention of Google in making its SERPs even more relevant and useful to the searchers. The typical single indexing system of websites and apps would continue to be in use but eventfully the primary consideration shift to the mobile version of a site’s content to rank the pages from the particular website. Google also ensures that the new indexing will continue to provide the more relevant results irrespective of the device used. The relevancy of the Search results will be improved in both the mobile and desktop devices. So, if you do not have a mobile version of your site, then keep up with the guidelines for responsive sites and you won’t be in a disadvantage either.
A clear indication has also been provided that the system would be made permanent only after going through some comprehensive experiments. The experiments are being conducted on a smaller scale till the first few months, and later would be rolled out when the results are confident enough.
Words from Google’s official notification on webmasters.googleblog.com say:
“We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience. Though we’re only beginning this process, here are a few recommendations to help webmasters prepare as we move towards a more mobile-focused index.”
The experiments are still in the initial phase, but the recommendations from the Google’s webmasters have been rolled out in the same post. It is wise to be an early adopter and prepare our site according to what Google has to say in the lines below. Here is what Google has to say regarding the recommendations:
- If you have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, you shouldn’t have to change anything.
- If you have a site configuration where the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, you should consider making some changes to your site.
- Make sure to serve structured markup for both the desktop and mobile version.
- Sites can verify the equivalence of their structured markup across desktop and mobile by typing the URLs of both versions into the Structured Data Testing Tool and comparing the output.
- When adding structured data to a mobile site, avoid adding large amounts of markup that isn’t relevant to the specific information content of each document.
- Use the robots.txt testing tool to verify that your mobile version is accessible to Googlebot.
- Sites do not have to make changes to their canonical links; we’ll continue to use these links as guides to serve the appropriate results to a user searching on desktop or mobile.
- If you are a site owner who has only verified their desktop site in Search Console, please add and verify your mobile version.
- If you only have a desktop site, we’ll continue to index your desktop site just fine, even if we’re using a mobile user agent to view your site.
- If you are building a mobile version of your site, keep in mind that a functional desktop-oriented site can be better than a broken or incomplete mobile version of the site. It’s better for you to build up your mobile site and launch it when ready.
Hopefully, in a couple of months the experiment would be ready to roll out. This notification can be considered as a clear intention of Google for its plans on mobile first indexing. Desktop sites are still important in the search engine optimization. It is just that to improve the usefulness of the results, a major preference is expected to be given to the mobile versions of the sites in the Google’s SERPs.