Following 18 months of testing, adjusting and experiments Google have started migrating websites which meet their best practice guidelines for mobile first indexing.
This is an important shift in Google’s indexing process which is intended to bring an improved user experience to users across all devices.
The percentage of searches conducted from mobile devices overtook those from desktop in 2016. Some sources suggest that the percentage has increased even further since then.
What is mobile first indexing?
Mobile first indexing is the process of Google’s algorithm using the mobile version of a website’s content to rank pages from the site, rather than the desktop version.
Why is it being launched?
Google have provided the following explanation for the change:
“Our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version.”
“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
Sites that have been selected to be featured in the mobile first index will be notified via the Search Console platform.
There are several steps which can be taken to ensure search performance is maintained during the switch, such as “ensuring primary content and markup is consistent across both mobile and desktop devices”.
Though this is a big change, if your site is easily accessible to mobile users or responsive it’s likely that you have nothing to worry about.