Google has today reiterated that its plan to switch to Mobile first indexing is still going ahead albeit a little delayed.
Google first indicated that it would start using mobile results by default for search results in July 2019.
Today they announced that “we’ve decided to extend the timeframe to the end of March 2021. At that time, we’re planning on switching our indexing over to mobile-first indexing.”
This is an extension to the original timeframe of September 2020
What this means for you
If your website doesn’t follow the Google mobile guidelines, then you risk being dropped off the search index over time.
There are several things you need to check to ensure your website is ready for this change.
- Use the same meta robots tags on the mobile and desktop site.
- In English: All instruction to search engines must be the same on mobile and desktop versions of your website.
- Don’t lazy-load primary content upon user interaction.
- In English: Make sure that users don’t have to do anything extra to see your content – it must come in automatically.
- Let Google crawl your resources.
- In English: Well, let Google crawl your resources (don’t block Google using the disallow directive).
- If you have structured data on your site, make sure that it’s present on both versions of your site
- In English: Google uses small pieces of information about your website to help it understand what it is about – they need to be present on both mobile and desktop versions.
And the BIG one:
Make sure that content is the same on desktop and mobile.
This is where you might find issues. Often website developers will remove elements that are visible on desktop to display your pages better on mobile – this is a no no.
What you need to do
- 1. Check if your website is already meeting the guidelines by using this tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
and if it isn’t;
- 2. Ask your developers to fix your website and ensure it follows Google’s guidelines for mobile first indexing.
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