Mobile-First Indexing: Definitions, Ins & Outs

mobile-first indexing

A new era has begun. Google now indexes and ranks material for mobile versions of websites, under the term “mobile-first indexing.” More than five years have passed since mobile search volume surpassed that of desktop search volume. It makes sense for Google to index and rank mobile-friendly approaches, since more people will access these pages via their mobile devices. Learn how to verify if Google has so far turned your site into a mobile index and how to adapt if they haven’t. So let’s get started! 

What does it mean?

Google will now primarily index and position content on your site using the mobile version, which is known as “mobile-first indexing.” The initial deadline for new websites to be indexed in this way by default was July 1, 2019. When the switchover was made official, websites built before that date would receive a notification via Search Console. Google then revealed plans to switch all webpages over in September 2020.

How can I make my website mobile-first indexable?

In order to make sure that your website is prepared for indexing for mobiles, Google suggests performing a number of actions. Here are a few of the most significant that can really help you build the relevance your site needs.

1. Verify your content can be accessed by Googlebot and rendered

You must check a few things to complete this stage successfully:

  • Both versions of your site are crawled using the same meta tags. Most websites have this default configuration, so you don’t need to worry too much about it unless you or a developer have specifically setup it up otherwise.
  • Google has access to all slackly loaded stuff.
  • Disallow directives should not block certain URLs.

2. Verify that the content is consistent across desktop and mobile

The same information that is on your desktop website should also be on your mobile site. Google cautions that if a mobile page purposefully has less content than a desktop page, you should expect to lose some traffic after that page is indexed. Ensure your mobile site’s headers match those on your desktop site, advises Google specifically in this regard.

3. Review the structured data

Keep in mind that any structured data is available on both versions of your website if you have any. Verify that the URLs in your structured data are correct. Employ your mobile site to teach Data Highlighter if you have it installed.

4. Adhere to any additional advice from Google

Google also offers the following advice for mobile-first optimization:

  • Firstly, provide the same metadata in both of your site’s versions.
  • When showing ads on mobile devices, adhere to the Better Ads Standard.
  • Assure your mobile site’s images adhere to image SEO best practices.

5. Keep an eye out for mobile errors

Google doesn’t anticipate you to be able to quickly determine how many of the aforementioned factors you have optimized for. They do, however, anticipate that you constantly monitor Search Console for mobile issues and that you make a sincere attempt to correct those errors when they manifest. You must first publish a sitemap and declare your site in Search Console in order to do that.

Does your website support mobile-first indexing?

You’ve already taken an important step that most website owners overlook if you’re unsure of whether or not your site is suitable—you’re consciously considering how Google sees and indexes your website. You’ll be in fine shape if you adhere to the above-mentioned recommendations. To refresh your memory, here are some of them:

  • Ensure your material can be accessed by Googlebot and displayed.
  • Ensure that the content is consistent across desktop and mobile.
  • Verify the structured data.
  • Adhere to Google’s advice.
  • Keep an eye out for mobile problems.


That’s all! As long as you use mobile indexing already, you won’t be affected by the upcoming change. Consider looking around and getting ready while there is still time if you haven’t already. As mobile becomes the new norm, ensure your website is ready.

We believe in working smart, not hard, and that's been our life motto. We're self-taught learners who are passionate about sharing knowledge. We've created this website as a platform to empower individuals and businesses with marketing insights. Our team at Unlimited Marketing is driven by a desire to educate and provide accessible marketing wisdom. We believe in the transformative power of effective marketing, whether for personal growth or business success. Our mission is to simplify and make marketing knowledge easily accessible to all.