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Google’s Mobile-First Index Has Arrived; Here Is What We Know

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Posted on 05/02/2018 at 01:00 PM

When it comes to the rollout of the highly anticipated mobile-first Index, Google has been teasing us for quite some time. You probably recall an earlier blog entry where we discuss how mobile-first indexing works. In a nutshell, the mobile version of your website becomes the primary version used for indexing and is what Google looks to when determining rankings. 

Google’s constantly shifting launch dates have very nearly discredited the seriousness of this new change, almost making it reminiscent of a classic fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” But finally, over the last few months, Google has slowly started to set their plans into action as they are now in the process of rolling out their mobile-first index. Here’s what we know about it so far. 

When did the rollout begin?

Though Google began to transition and test a handful of websites with their mobile-first index in December of 2017, it was not until the end of March that the search giant announced that its “mobile-first” indexing had officially begun rolling out. This came after almost a year and a half of testing.

How do you know if your website has been transitioned to the mobile-first Index?

Google describes this as a rollout. This means that not everyone’s mobile website will be indexed in the mobile-first index overnight. Instead, they will do so in waves over the timeframe of a few months.

Websites that have been moved to the mobile-first index will be notified via their Google Search Console property by way of a manual notification. Google also warns that webmasters should expect to see increased activity from the Smartphone Googlebot, and soon after, should see that their mobile versions of their website’s pages are displaying within Google’s search results, as well as Google’s cached pages.

What if your website is not yet mobile friendly?

If you’ve yet to make your website mobile-friendly, there’s no question that you should. By failing to adapt to the changing times, you’ll limit your audience and frustrate your users. However, Google has told webmasters of any non-mobile friendly websites that they do not need to panic just yet. “If you only have desktop content, you will continue to be represented in our index,” assures the Google announcement. It goes on to say, “We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show.”

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, reach out to us today to get the conversation started!

Tagged As: Google Updates

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