Not surprisingly, Google announced May 5th that mobile first indexing is coming to all websites by September of 2020. It’s a pretty straightforward thing and you or your webmaster can easily check if your Search Console to see if your site is ready to roll for this.
What is Mobile First Indexing?
Google will crawl and index your site based on the way a mobile device looks at your website. As users move more and more towards using Chrome and Safari on Android and iOS devices, this is believed to benefit users and their search queries. If you want to understand the technical process better in layman’s terms, check out How Search Engines Work.
“It’s been a few years now that Google started working on mobile-first indexing – Google’s crawling of the web using a smartphone Googlebot. From our analysis, most sites shown in search results are good to go for mobile-first indexing, and 70% of those shown in our search results have already shifted over. To simplify, we’ll be switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting September 2020. In the meantime, we’ll continue moving sites to mobile-first indexing when our systems recognize that they’re ready.” – John Mueller
How Do I Know If I Have It?
Head over to Google Search Console which should be connected to your website. From there go to Settings on the left-hand side. It should tell you if you’re still on Googlebot Desktop or Googlebot Smartphone. It will tell you the date it switched over as well. If you aren’t switched yet, don’t panic. Sites have been slowly switching over and will continue to do so. Google will notify you or your webmaster via email with a list of any changes that need to be made if you are not mobile-first ready on your site.
What Do I Need To Do To Be Mobile First?
- Make sure your content is the same (texts, images, videos, links, etc.)
- Make sure your metadata is the same (titles, descriptions, meta tags, etc.)
- Do not use separate mobile (m-dot) URL’s or websites
- Ensure your structured data (coding data snippet) is the same
We’re close to the date of implementation so most sites have already been moved over. Unless you hear from Google directly, you shouldn’t have any cause for concern. You can always double-check with your webmaster to ensure you’re optimized for these changes.