SEO News You Can Use: Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Deadline Moved to March 2021

SEO News You Can Use

Google has officially moved the deadline for mobile-first indexing to March 2021. The original deadline was September 2020, but with many companies having to make changes because of COVID-19, Google has pushed out the deadline to alleviate the pressure. The search engine expressed an understanding that during this time of uncertainty, it can be challenging to give work as much focus as before.  

This is good news for sites not ready for mobile-first indexing. However, it’s advisable to spend some time understanding what issues on your website create obstacles preventing Googlebots from crawling your pages. Google has addressed concerns that can block sites from mobile indexing in previous blog posts, but there are new issues that have come to the forefront recently. In Google’s post announcing the extended deadline, it also put forward some suggestions for preparing for the move next year.

Here are the top suggestions straight from the source:

  • You need to ensure Googlebot can see all of your content. So your mobile site and desktop site need to incorporate the same resources and content. Use the same robots meta tags across both versions of your site. Don’t implement lazy-loading on your primary content pages because the Googlebot won’t trigger user interactions, so you run the risk of content not being seen. Also, if you want Google to crawl your URLs (especially if they differ across the different versions of your site) then check that you’re not disallowing crawling of these URLs with your robots.txt.file.
  • The content on your mobile site and your desktop site needs to be the same. After March 2021, Google will only index the content on your mobile site. This means all of your optimized content on your desktop site will lose its ranking power if it’s not the same as your mobile site.
  • Make sure you’ve followed the video and image best practices suggested by Google. This means you need to account for the quality of your images and your video quality, make sure your image alt tags are meaningful and check if your image URLs on your desktop site can be carried over to your mobile site. You will need to check if Google’s video indexing systems can index your videos and if the images and videos on your mobile site are in easy-to-find locations.

You can find more information about these suggestions in Google’s announcement post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

More SEO News You Can Use:

Google Search Console (GSC) Now Has a Button for Sharing: Search Engine Roundtable announced last week that you can share a report with another person through a secure link. The option is in the form of a button found next to the export button. The link grants limited access to the current issue details page only and any validation history pages for the issues. This link won’t grant access to any other GSC pages, and the shared users can’t take any actions on the page or the account. If necessary, you can also remove all shared user access.

Check Out This Moz Webinar on Business-to-Business (B2B) SEO and Lead Generation: B2B SEO expert, Joyce Collardé, is hosting a Moz webinar focused on SEO tactics for lead generation in the B2B space. If you’re keen to learn more about how businesses sell their solutions and how prospects and leads search for them then this is the webinar to sign up for.

For $50 a Month, You Can Upgrade to a Google Guaranteed Google My Business (GMB) Profile: Your GMB profile is critical if your business is of the online variety. Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk around optimizing your GMB profile and now you can have a Google Guaranteed certification badge on your profile, which may also appear in the Local Pack. While there’s no data on whether this upgrade increases click-throughs or boosts engagement, we can assume the badge will grab the attention of users and help brands stand out against competitors who aren’t Google Guaranteed.

Shopify Users and SEOs, Here’s How to Ensure Your Brand Ranks Higher on This Platform: Shopify store owners and Shopify SEO experts will know that the platform has both excellent features and clunky challenges. Trying to improve organic visibility can leave many Shopify users frustrated as they inevitably face challenges. Some of the hiccups are Shopify-specific and some are simply common eCommerce platform issues. George Nguyen has put together a very informative piece for Search Engine Land that identifies Shopify roadblocks and how to overcome them.

What do You Know About Link Remediation? Brian Harnish Unpacks the Basics: Links get a lot of airtime in the search community, and Google always has a lot to say on the subject. Brian Harnish has published a piece on Search Engine Journal that explains why link remediation, link removals and disavows should be a regular process. This article gives you insights into how to go about protecting your website proactively.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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