Google rolls out mobile-first indexing

Google rolled out this week the mobile-first indexing. “Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” wrote Fan Zhang, Software Engineer at Google.

Sites that are migrating to mobile-first indexing are being notified via Search Console. The migrated sites will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot. On these sites, Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and Google cached pages, on desktop, tablet or mobile, as Google only has a single index.

Google says that the mobile-first indexing rollout happens “after a year and a half of careful experimentation and testing.” Until now the “crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content” which could “cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version.”

Historically, the desktop version was indexed, but increasingly, Google will be using the mobile versions of content.