Home SEO Google makes some clarifications related to mobile-first indexing

Google makes some clarifications related to mobile-first indexing

As Google begins rolling out mobile-first indexing to more and more sites, the search giant is seeing some confusion within the industry around mobile-first indexing and has decided to clarify some points on Twitter this morning.

URLs with mobile-first indexing

If you deploy different URLs for mobile versus desktop, Google will show the mobile searchers your mobile URL and the desktop searchers your desktop URL. In both cases, the indexed content will be the mobile version of the site, even if Google shows the desktop URL. Sites that are designed with a single URL for mobile and desktop do not need to worry about this.

URLs in search: With Mobile-first indexing, we index the mobile version. When we recognize separate mobile URLs, we’ll show the mobile URL to mobile users, and the desktop URL to desktop users — the indexed content will be the mobile version in both cases.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Crawling changes

Google said the crawl count per day won’t really change, but the balance will shift from desktop pages crawled to mostly mobile pages crawled. Google also may temporarily increase crawling when it reindexes your website.

Crawled counts: The total number of crawled URLs/day generally won’t change, but the balance will shift from mostly-desktop to mostly-mobile crawls. During a switch-over to mobile-first indexing we may temporarily crawl more as we reindex everything.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Cache bug

There is currently a bug with the Google cache that when a site is moved over to the mobile-indexing process, the Google cache link sometimes may not return anything and may 404 or show a blank page. This is a known bug that Google is working on fixing and has zero impact on indexing and ranking.

Cached page: Unfortunately, it looks like we’re currently still not showing a cached page for many mobile-first indexed sites. This is a bug, not by design, and should get resolved over time. It’s just the UI, it doesn’t affect crawling, indexing, or ranking.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Speed update is unrelated to mobile-first indexing

The speed update that is coming up in July is unrelated to mobile-first indexing. Yes, you should make your site fast, especially for mobile users, Google says, but the speed update is not directly related to mobile-first indexing.

Speed and mobile-first indexing: The mobile speed update in July is independent of mobile-first indexing. Fast sites are awesome for users, especially on mobile, since devices & connections there tend to be slower than with desktops.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Mobile user interface concessions

Mobile websites that use accordions or hamburger menus or similar methods to make content less overwhelming in the smartphone user interface are perfectly fine.

Mobile website UIs: Using “hamburger-menus” and “accordions” on mobile websites is fine.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Mobile-friendliness is not required

Your website does not need to be mobile-friendly or responsive to be included in the mobile-first indexing process. In fact, the first sites to move to mobile-first indexing were desktop-only websites.

On requirements: Neither mobile-friendliness nor a mobile-responsive layout are requirements for mobile-first indexing. Pages without mobile versions still work on mobile, and are usable for indexing. That said, it’s about time to move from desktop-only and embrace mobile 🙂

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

Ranking boost?

Being switched to mobile-first indexing does not give you a better ranking in Google search. While being mobile-friendly is a ranking factor on mobile, it is unrelated to being in the mobile-first index.

On ranking: The mobile-first index doesn’t change anything for ranking other than that the mobile content is used. While mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor on mobile, being in the mobile-first index is not.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

More documentation

For more details and documentation on mobile-first indexing and mobile sites, check out the tweet below:

In case you’re curious, our docs on mobile-first indexing are at https://t.co/gQaVwzCV48 , https://t.co/1mglj5U5ch , https://t.co/yo4mGQZkqh , and https://t.co/hDZcbCTjVj for mobile sites in general.

— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) June 14, 2018

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