Developers
August 25, 2020

Coming Up in Google: Mobile-First Indexing

Prepare your website to be indexed by your mobile version. The web migrates from desktop to mobile.

Do you know Google is prioritizing Mobile-first indexing in their search engine? They have been putting their efforts into it for several years and the mobile-first methodology works by default. The plan to take it to the whole Google’s indexing functionality is planned to be effective by March 2021.

There are many blogs explaining that if your site is now mobile-first, then it will not be crawled as efficiently as if it is mobile-first. Mobile-first is being prioritized by Google, as the development of mobile-first became a worldwide methodology.

In mobile-first indexing, the information from your site will only be obtained from your mobile version. As you can see, it’s not complementing the web version with a mobile version, but rather replacing it fully. Mobile is already the most used way of browsing in the world, and chances are… it will continue to be.

Please use the same robots meta tags on the mobile version as the ones you use in the desktop version. By using a different one, Google will fail to index your page once it’s enabled for mobile-first indexing.  

Lazy-loading is much more common in mobile than on the desktop. If you are loading images and videos, even more. If you are interested in how it works, please check out the best lazy-loading practices. The best practice, to put it in short, is avoiding lazy-loading to be your primary content based on user interactions such as swiping, clicking, and typing. This is recommended because Google doesn’t trigger the interactions.

Enabling your website to be crawled

Resources have different URLs on the mobile version form those on the desktop version. To make sure Google crawls your URLs, don’t disable the crawling in the robots.txt file.

If you block the URLs in the .CSS file, you will prevent Googlebot from rendering your page correctly and entirely. This can make your page not even rank. The same happens with images, they won’t be posted into Google Images if you disable it.  

Always make sure that your primary content is the same on desktop and on mobile. If your mobile version has less content than the desktop version, in this time of change to mobile-first, make sure to update your mobile version.

As only the mobile version will be used for indexing and ranking, it has to be your priority to have it up to date and even better than your desktop version. If you don’t do this, you will surely lose traffic which is something you don’t want.

Images and Videos on your website

Make sure your images and videos are compliant with the best practices. It is recommended to always check image quality, attributes for images, Different image URLs between desktop and mobile version, video markup, and video and image placement.  

It is recommended not to use images that are too small or that have a low resolution on the mobile version. Too small, or too low-quality images are left out by the Google Images selector. On the contrary, good-sized images and standard quality images are indexed correctly.

If you have a different URL for your desktop and for your mobile version, you might experience traffic loss from Google Images while your site becomes mobile-first indexed. This occurs for a reason, the image URLs on the mobile version are new to the Google Indexing system. So, it takes time for the new image URLs to be understood and adapted accurately and appropriately.

Make sure to always position your images and videos in an easy place to find within your website. If images or videos are placed inefficiently, it most definitely affects your user experience on mobile and on desktop too. It might even not display the images correctly in Google if they are placed inefficiently.

Mobile-first indexing is not something new, it’s something that is going to be empowered. The web has definitely moved from desktop to mobile. Most people use Google in their phone browsers and not on their computers.

In conclusion, mobile-first is not only a development methodology but the way Google is indexing the entire search engine. Most of Google is already working on a mobile-first paradigm, but it’s expected that by March 2021, it will go fully mobile-first. By then, if you have a desktop version better than your mobile version, it will be the time that you make your updates or you will not rank well. If you have images and videos, always make sure to have them correctly placed on your website and allow them to be posted into Google Images. Mobile-first doesn’t mean that people don’t use desktop anymore, but it definitely means that people use much more their mobile phones to browse than their desktop browser. The migration has already been happening for years, but now Google has finally decided to go all-in for mobile.

TagsGoogleMobile-First IndexingUser Experience
Lucas Bonder
Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

Related Articles

Back
DevelopersAugust 25, 2020
Coming Up in Google: Mobile-First Indexing
Prepare your website to be indexed by your mobile version. The web migrates from desktop to mobile.

Do you know Google is prioritizing Mobile-first indexing in their search engine? They have been putting their efforts into it for several years and the mobile-first methodology works by default. The plan to take it to the whole Google’s indexing functionality is planned to be effective by March 2021.

There are many blogs explaining that if your site is now mobile-first, then it will not be crawled as efficiently as if it is mobile-first. Mobile-first is being prioritized by Google, as the development of mobile-first became a worldwide methodology.

In mobile-first indexing, the information from your site will only be obtained from your mobile version. As you can see, it’s not complementing the web version with a mobile version, but rather replacing it fully. Mobile is already the most used way of browsing in the world, and chances are… it will continue to be.

Please use the same robots meta tags on the mobile version as the ones you use in the desktop version. By using a different one, Google will fail to index your page once it’s enabled for mobile-first indexing.  

Lazy-loading is much more common in mobile than on the desktop. If you are loading images and videos, even more. If you are interested in how it works, please check out the best lazy-loading practices. The best practice, to put it in short, is avoiding lazy-loading to be your primary content based on user interactions such as swiping, clicking, and typing. This is recommended because Google doesn’t trigger the interactions.

Enabling your website to be crawled

Resources have different URLs on the mobile version form those on the desktop version. To make sure Google crawls your URLs, don’t disable the crawling in the robots.txt file.

If you block the URLs in the .CSS file, you will prevent Googlebot from rendering your page correctly and entirely. This can make your page not even rank. The same happens with images, they won’t be posted into Google Images if you disable it.  

Always make sure that your primary content is the same on desktop and on mobile. If your mobile version has less content than the desktop version, in this time of change to mobile-first, make sure to update your mobile version.

As only the mobile version will be used for indexing and ranking, it has to be your priority to have it up to date and even better than your desktop version. If you don’t do this, you will surely lose traffic which is something you don’t want.

Images and Videos on your website

Make sure your images and videos are compliant with the best practices. It is recommended to always check image quality, attributes for images, Different image URLs between desktop and mobile version, video markup, and video and image placement.  

It is recommended not to use images that are too small or that have a low resolution on the mobile version. Too small, or too low-quality images are left out by the Google Images selector. On the contrary, good-sized images and standard quality images are indexed correctly.

If you have a different URL for your desktop and for your mobile version, you might experience traffic loss from Google Images while your site becomes mobile-first indexed. This occurs for a reason, the image URLs on the mobile version are new to the Google Indexing system. So, it takes time for the new image URLs to be understood and adapted accurately and appropriately.

Make sure to always position your images and videos in an easy place to find within your website. If images or videos are placed inefficiently, it most definitely affects your user experience on mobile and on desktop too. It might even not display the images correctly in Google if they are placed inefficiently.

Mobile-first indexing is not something new, it’s something that is going to be empowered. The web has definitely moved from desktop to mobile. Most people use Google in their phone browsers and not on their computers.

In conclusion, mobile-first is not only a development methodology but the way Google is indexing the entire search engine. Most of Google is already working on a mobile-first paradigm, but it’s expected that by March 2021, it will go fully mobile-first. By then, if you have a desktop version better than your mobile version, it will be the time that you make your updates or you will not rank well. If you have images and videos, always make sure to have them correctly placed on your website and allow them to be posted into Google Images. Mobile-first doesn’t mean that people don’t use desktop anymore, but it definitely means that people use much more their mobile phones to browse than their desktop browser. The migration has already been happening for years, but now Google has finally decided to go all-in for mobile.

Google
Mobile-First Indexing
User Experience
About the author
Lucas Bonder -Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

Related Articles