Google’s Mobile First Indexing: The Search Engine Rejuvenation

google mobile first indexing

Mobile-first indexing is how Google crawls and indexes the website. But in this case, Instead of looking at the desktop version of the webpage, Google analyses the mobile version of the page. It’s been named “mobile-first” because it’s not a mobile-only index: for example, if a website doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be considered for inclusion in the index.

Take the phrase “mobile-first” very seriously as the mobile version will be considered the primary version of your website. And the lack of mobile-friendly experience could affect the rankings of the site as compared to the website with a better mobile experience.

Google though its Webmaster’s Official Twitter account made an announcement in May 2019 that If your website was published after July 1, 2019, by default mobile-first indexing is enabled. Google also warned its users that if they intentionally serve less content on the mobile version, they will likely face a cut in the web traffic.

How to check if the website has moved over to mobile-first indexing?

You will receive an email entitled “Mobile-first indexing has been enabled for “ ” (domain) from Google if your website has been moved to mobile-first indexing

url inspection tool

If in case, you haven’t received an email yet, you can check the same using the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console. You can check how your website URL has been crawled and indexed by Google

What does mobile-first indexing mean for SEO?

mobile search 2013-2019
Source: Merkle

3 out of every 5 searches take place on mobile, and mobile search has pushed behind desktop as the number one method of searching. This point in itself is one of the primary reasons to move to a mobile-first indexing approach.

Being in the first position in the mobile search ranks far higher. Unlike the desktop version where people can navigate easier through the search results, the difference between the first and fourth places on mobile Google searches is huge. People will prefer top searches as those will be the ones firstly visible on the mobile screen.

It’s true that Google clearly values mobile search more, so your SEO content should be front and center on your mobile site.

March 2020: This is the most recent update announcement pertaining to Google’s mobile-first indexing. “We’ll be switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020”, Google shared.

The Clarity

google mobile first indexing google search

Mobile-First Indexing does not offer separate indexing which means there is no mobile-only index. As mentioned above, Mobile-First Indexing is a process that uses Google’s algorithm & search bots to index the mobile versions of your website’s pages.

Mobile-first indexing only impacts the recently built websites. If your website has been around for a while, then you don’t have to worry. Google has already indexed your site into its search database and your search rankings won’t be affected as such.