Google has updated on the webmaster blog about the mobile first index and its association with various websites. This means Google will now be creating and ranking its search listing based on the mobile version of the content along for the listing shown to desktop users.
Google has now started to use the mobile version for the search engine index. Search engine index is primarily a collection of website pages that Google has discovered through crawling. Google has earlier crawled the web from desktop point of view but now it has started using mobile version for search engine index.
But if you do not have mobile site need not to worry. Google will continue to crawl and index according to your desktop version. But if you have a mobile site make sure that the mobile version is equivalent to desktop version in terms of links and contents so that Google can use the appropriate content and rank the website on the basis of mobile version.
If the mobile version of the website has less content compared to desktop version then you need to be worried, as the content on page A of the desktop has more content compared to page A of the mobile version, Google will rank the website on the basis of mobile version content.That is why it has been recommended to go with responsive website designs- the content will be same on page by page basis from the desktop to mobile version.
Google has affirmed that it has rolled out mobile first index for few sites and has stated that their search team is using those sites for testing purpose.
You will get to know when your site is moved for checking by Google bots. So, do not forget to check your log files to see any increase in Google bot crawling activity, the content crawling on the Google cache pages. This will be the case then your site has been under Google mobile first index.
So, to get ready for mobile index several tips are given below:-
- Ensure that the mobile version of your website too has relevant and unique content on that. It can be in the form of text, images or videos in usual crawlable and indexable format.
- Meta data must be on both the version like mobile and desktop. It must provide the information about the content on the webpage for crawling and indexing. You can take the example like your titles and meta descriptions must be equivalent on the both versions.
- Structured data is very important for the purpose of getting the page or the website indexed. It should be compatible for both mobile and desktop version. Make sure that the structured data has been updated to the mobile version on mobile pages.
- No changes are needed for interlinking with separate mobile urls. For those websites which use separate mobile urls, use the existing link rel=canonical and link rel=alternate for providing the separate mobile urls.
- Use hreflang element for both the mobile and desktop version separately. Make sure that the mobile URL’s hreflang must point to the other language or region versions on other mobile URLs. Likewise, link desktop with other desktop version using hreflang elements there.
- Make sure that the server has the capacity to handle the increased rate of crawling. This will primarily not affect the responsive websites and the websites which uses dynamic serving, only sites which uses a different host for mobile version.
Technically this has been a global roll back hitting not hitting specific region. This will give a big push to responsive web design techniques.