All You Need To Know About Mobile-First-Indexing
Indexing is a data structure technique to store the data of all the websites by crawling all the information on a website and quickly locate and access the data based on the query being done on a search engine.
Introduction of Concept Of Mobile-First Indexing
The first thing to understand here is that there is no special Index for the mobile but instead Google Mobile-First Indexing is meant for indexing and ranking of websites based on the mobile version. Historically, the index used the desktop version of the webpage to evaluate the relevance of a webpage to a user's query. But as the usage of mobile devices has increased so much and maximum searches are being done on these mobile devices only, there is a need for mobile-friendly web pages to be indexed differently than the desktop versions.
Implementation of the Concept
In 2018, Google explained the URL of mobile-friendly versions of your website will be indexed and ranked with the help of Mobile-First Indexing. After this update, desktop and mobile version website or webpage URL will be different and Google will show Mobile URL to mobile user and desktop URL to the desktop user.
And since 1st July 2019, Mobile-First Indexing has been enabled for all the new websites by default and for the older websites the enrollment is still in progress and the website owners are being informed of the data whenever the website has been switched to mobile version through Search Console and will be notified when their website could be shifted to the Mobile-First Indexing.
Want to know whether your website is mobile-first indexing optimized or not? Click here
Points to be noted for Website Owners before 2019
Google will provide you with the data of the mobile usability of your website and even if your website passed all the tests of mobile-friendly web pages and URLs it doesn’t mean your website is ready to be on the indexed as the mobile-first indexing.
Now according to Google’s representative if Google crawls the text of your website and displays it on a mobile device, then your website can be added to the mobile-first indexing.
Mobile usability and mobile-first indexing are completely different so even if your website is valid for usability on mobile devices it can not be added to mobile-first indexing and vice-versa. So the basic line is that don’t assume your website is ready for mobile-first indexing by analyzing it through the web-search console reports of mobile usability.
Best Practices for Mobile-First Indexing
Recently Google has published/updated the best practices for mobile-first indexing and most of the focus is on creating the same experience as on a mobile device or in desktop for a user.
The guidelines for creating the same experience is as follows:
1. Make sure google bots can access and render every content and resource of your webpage.
2. Make sure the mobile contents are the same as the desktops.
3. Use the same meta robot-tags for both the platforms.
4. Use the same headline.
5. Make sure that the structured data of both the platforms are the same.
Apart from the basic steps on creating the same experience above, there are many to follow in order to make sure everything is placed correctly:
1. Make sure Google Bots can see the lazy-loaded contents.
2. Make sure the placement of ads doesn’t create a bad mobile experience.
3. Provide high-quality images for mobile versions.
4. Make sure to use the same alt-text for both platforms.
5. Avoid using the URLs of the images and videos that are dynamic in nature.
6. Make sure every content is well placed and find-able on the mobile version also.
Consult an SEO expert for the perfect implementation of these strategies.
Google has also introduced guidelines on the separate URLs of the website in mobile and desktop version:
1. Make sure the error status of the page is the same on both mobile and desktop sites.
2. Avoid fragment URLs in mobile sites.
3. Make sure desktop pages have equivalent to mobile pages.
4. Check hreflang links on separate mobile URLs.
5. Make sure the mobile site can handle the increased crawl rate.
6. Make sure the robot.text is the same on both the platforms.
There are a lot of do’s and don'ts in order to be on the mobile-first indexing and as the updates are still rolling out slowly we can expect some more guidelines to be provided by Google.
So it’s better to practice right from the start and take advantage of the opportunities.
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#Google Search Optimization #Mobile First Indexing