Google says up to 70 percent of websites have already been moved over to mobile-first indexing. The remaining 30 percent will be moved over to mobile-first indexing by no later than September.
It’s great to finally have a date attached to this switch, as it gives a chance for websites facing mobile responsive issues a chance to catch up before the smartphone Googlebot takes hold later this year.
While this move to mobile-first indexing is absolute, Google won’t forego the traditional desktop Googlebot entirely. After September, Google will, on occasion, crawl using the desktop Googlebot. However, all crawling for Search will be done with the smartphone Googlebot, with no exceptions.
Google shoots off notifications to the websites on which mobile-first indexing is enabled. Whether your website is ready for this change or not, be warned that Google will move it to mobile-first indexing regardless.
In preparation for the switch, provide the smartphone Googlebot with the necessary information as found on the desktop version of your site. Check that your canonical and hreflang tags are pointing to the correct pages, make sure you’re not restricting any indexing or crawling on your site and add your mobile site to Google Search Console if you haven’t already done so. Also, check to see if you have Schema markup added and that you’re not hiding texts or links on any of your pages.
It’s possible your site has already moved to mobile-first indexing. After all, Google began this change in 2016. SearchEngineLand’s article shows an example of the message you could receive from Google if your website hasn’t been moved over yet or if it’s having trouble accessing your site with the mobile-crawler.
By following these guidelines, you’re making sure your site continues working well. Make use of URL Testing Tools or any other website analyzing tools you trust to check both your mobile and desktop version of your site and make sure you match what Google Search sees.
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