If you are just diving into the world of search engine optimization (SEO) as a new executive working for SEO services in Mumbai, then this news might not mean much to you, but if you have been in the game for a while, then you know that mobile-first indexing is a big deal.
All You Need To Know About Google’s Mobile-First Indexing
Till now, Google only used the desktop version of your site to index it and show it in search results, but now they will be using the mobile version too.
The update’s purpose is to improve the search experience for mobile users who have low-speed Internet connections or limited data plans. It will also help pages load faster, which will increase the time that users spend on the page and subsequently boost your overall traffic.
Google will change the way it crawls web pages and stores them in its database. They will also change their ranking algorithm to create a better user experience when someone is searching from mobile devices.
In other words, when Google crawls the web, it will be the first time they crawl pages that are mobile-friendly. For any website owner, this means that you should make sure your site is mobile friendly because if you don’t they will not rank as high in searches and you might even get kicked off of the search engine.
It makes sense for Google to move in this direction since more people are using mobile devices for browsing instead of desktop computers. In fact, we recently published an article that showed that only 19% of online users in the United States used desktops to browse websites in 2018. That number should continue to decrease as more people move away from desktop computers and onto mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
To achieve this, Google has made it possible for developers to create a separate version of their website with different URLs and content for when it is accessed through mobile devices. This content must be formatted in a special way so that Google’s algorithm can detect it.
By switching to mobile-first indexing, Google will prioritize the mobile version of your site’s content over the desktop version when it comes to indexing. This means that SEO services in Mumbai can make changes to client site’s content without worrying about whether they’ll appear in Google search results.
To complete the switch over to mobile-first indexing, SEO services in Mumbai need to use structured data markup and specify the preferred domain for your site.
Deadline Delay & Drop For Mobile-First Indexing
As SEO Services in Mumbai are aware, Google announced that it would slowly begin to roll out the mobile-first indexing near the ending of 2017.
Around March – April 2018, it was announced that Googlebot will start using the mobile version of the website for any page that can be crawled if the desktop version does not have any mobile-friendly features. Google also said in its release that it is launching a new Search Console report to show which pages are indexed and from which version (mobile or desktop), and all websites should stay prepared.
However, even three years later many of the websites had failed to make the switch to the mobile index as found out during June 2020, hence Google made the announcement to postpone the date to March of 2021 instead of September 2020.
According to Google, various issues which were encountered by sites were reasons for the delay in launching this algorithm such as issues with robots meta tags, blocked assets, lazy loading, mobile image, video loading, and primary contents.
As a result, Google has delayed the rollout of mobile-first indexing until they have addressed these issues, but they have not given a specific timeline for when this will happen. According to Google “some sites were facing unexpectedly difficult challenges and we wanted to accommodate their timelines.”
John Muller of Google finally came out on the company blog to say that the deadline for Google’s mobile-first indexing is no longer a specific deadline and it had been decided to leave “timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing.”
John Mueller further stated that “earlier, we thought that we could complete the move to mobile-first indexing by March 2021.” And for this reason, the fact remains that Google won’t “have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction.”
So thin conclusion, the deadline is not something SEO services in Mumbai have to concern themselves about within the near future.
It is a fair assumption that the remaining sites which have not yet migrated to this format are facing a lot of issues, which is why Google could not push those sites to move ahead. However, Google has stated that they would gradually migrate these remaining websites later on as “if a website is not verified in Search Console, we won’t be able to inform it of a pending switch to mobile-first indexing.”
SEO services in Mumbai are aware that this process started more than five years ago and yet has not been completed, hence they have worked flexibly to stay updated with the changing environment on Google’s platform. Google did say that about 70% of the sites had been migrated however, further updates had been scarce.
Newer Websites To Have Mobile-First Ranking by Default
In case your site was launched following July of 2019 you can rest assured that Mobile-first indexing will be applied to all new sites or existing sites that are being moved to a new platform. After this date, Google will use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in search results, unless the site owner does otherwise. This is definitely good news for SEO services in Mumbai as there would be no extra work needed for optimization.
A statement was made by Google in May of 2019 explaining that this change would apply to every website unknown to previous Google searches. There were further details regarding the reasons for Google’s decision to default mobile-first system for new sites.
As stated by Google, Googlebot had concluded after crawling the web extensively via smartphone that websites are ready for this new change.