Google Officially Announces Roll Out of Mobile-First Indexing

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Google officially announced roll out of its “mobile-first” indexing of the web. This was done almost after a year and a half testing and experimentation.

In 2016, Google explained its plan to change its search index function. In the following year, 2017 December, Google representatives have stated that a significant hand full of sites have been migrated to mobile-first indexing.

Mobile-first indexing is an effort to deliver the best experience for the searchers. It means Google will use the mobile version of a web page for indexing and ranking, to better help the primarily mobile users to find what they’re looking for. The websites which are using responsive layout or dynamic serving are very much apt for the mobile-first indexing. Google also clarifies that for search results, it will have one index, not a mobile-first index that’s separate from its main index.

This “primary mobile” refers to the fact that, from now on most of the people use Google search from mobile devices. One of the many factors in determining the website ranking is the mobile-friendly version. But it is not the only factor as some of the non-mobile friendly pages which have good information will rank higher.

Google started to prioritize mobile websites in different ways. Previously, mobile-friendliness was considered as a factor in boosting a website’s rank. Now added to this, page speed will also be considered to determine the ranking. From July 2018 onwards the content which is loading slowly will be downranked.

This mobile-friendly indexing will not impact how the content or a website is ranked but mobile-friendly content which is indexed in this new way helps the website to perform better in mobile search results. This will favor mobile-friendly webpages over its own fast-loading AMP pages. Google is not shifting the all the websites to its new mobile-first indexing right away, just a first wave.

The websites which have been shifted will be notified through search console and will observe the increased visits from the smartphone Googlebot. Webmasters of the sites, which are not optimized yet, need not panic as their content is also represented in Google’s index. The completion of the rollout of the mobile-first indexing is not specified by Google.