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Being Mobile Index Ready from Google – SMX London 2018

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Being Mobile Index Ready was presented by Juane Felipe Rincon at SMX London 2018. Juan is the Webmaster Outreach Lead at Google in Ireland where he helps to support webmasters and answer questions around Google Search.

The talk was focused on what is and what is no mobile indexing. Mobile indexing is currently a work progress, it’s a big change for Google, the currently crawl over 20 billion pages per day. Mobile indexing is likely to change but Google will aim to provide details if so.

Why Mobile Indexing – Search evolves!

Old Google search:

Find all the pages and look at them

Generic Indexing:

Understand the information on the pages

Equal serving:

Show the same pages to all users

Now, most users use smartphones but Google promises Desktop content

FUTURE Google search:

Smartphone crawling:

Find all the pages via smartphone and look at them.

Check for desktop version:

Find desktop URL that corresponds.

Smartphone Indexing:

Understand the information on the pages as seen by a smartphone

Specific serving:

Show the mobile or desktop URL to users

Mobile Indexing – What is it?

Mobile Indexing is:

  • Google looking at the web as a mobile user
  • Google Index using primarily the mobile version of a page’s content

Mobile Indexing is not:

  • A separate index for mobile and desktop
  • A process that kicks in overnight
  • A process that should catch you by surprise

Mobile Indexing Tips

Google’s steps before switching to mobile indexing:

Check site readiness

Is the site ready for mobile indexing?

Recrawl ready websites

Switch the indexed version to mobile

Track connection to desktop versions

Understand Desktop to mobile relationships

Index & Serve mobile version in search

Show the mobile or desktop URL to users

Are you ready?

Readiness is determined site-by-site

  • Equivalent content
  • Similar out-links
  • Images & alt text available
  • Structured data & annotations (hreflang, AMP, etc)
  • Server has capacity (for m-dot sites)

How much work ahead for websites?

Responsive design – One URL for all devices, same content

No change needed – READY!

Dynamic Serving – Same URL but different content

Check everything – Maybe ready!

Separate URLs – Crawls mobile URL, check canonicals, check crawling, check everything.

Maybe ready!

SEO Tips for m-dot websites

  • Same primary content
  • Meta data (titles/description)
  • Structured data
  • Hreflang
  • Don’t change the rel=”canonical”
  • Optimise the crawl budget
  • Check your server

Google’s resources on mobile indexing

Blog post with more details

Best practises for mobile-first indexing

“FYI” messages in search console when Google switches.