Mobile-first indexing means that Google mainly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, so it’s important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Googlebot mainly crawls and indexes pages with a smartphone agent. On July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing became the default indexing for all new sites on Google. Most of the sites displayed in Google’s search results are ready to be indexed on mobile devices, and 70% of those appearing in their search results have already changed sites. In fact, mobile-first indexing for all websites will be effective from September 2020. In the meantime, Google continues to move sites to mobile-first indexing when their systems recognize that they are ready.

It is important to note that there is no separate mobile-first index. Google search continues to use a single index. Google Search continues to display the most appropriate URL for users (be it a desktop or mobile URL) in the search results. If you’re using a responsive web design, the pages for desktop and mobile are the same. In this case, your ranking will not change at all.

Here are some recommendations to know for a good indexing of your mobile site. Googlebot must access and read your content Use the same meta robots tags on the mobile and desktop site. If you use a different meta robots tag on the mobile site (no-index or no-follow), Google may not crawl and index your page when your site is activated for mobile-first indexing. Let Google explore your resources. Some resources have URLs on the mobile site different from those on the desktop site.

If you want Google to crawl your URLs, make sure you don’t block the URL with the disallow directive you find in the Robots.txt specification resources. . Googlebot does not load content that requires user interactions (for example, drag, click, or type) to load. Make sure Google can see the loaded content.

Postponing the loading of non -critical or invisible content, also known as “lazy loading”, is standard practice in terms of performance and user experience. Many sites have images and videos that are loaded on the pages that are ultimately not the final image, but a placeholder that will be replaced by the final image, often used to speed up your site while saving resources server. The problem Google does not like and explains why! Make sure the content is the same on computer and mobile Make sure your mobile site contains the same content as your desktop site. If your mobile site has less content than your office site, consider updating your mobile site so that its main content is equivalent to your office site. Almost all of the indexing on your site comes from the mobile site.

If your intention is for the mobile page to have less content than the desktop page, you can expect a loss of traffic when your site is enabled for priority mobile indexing, because Google cannot get as much information from your page than before. Use the same clear and meaningful titles on the mobile site as on the desktop site. Your structured web and mobile data Make sure your mobile and desktop sites have the same structured data. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the content of the page. for example, on a fitness page, what are the exercises, the timing of the class, the calories you are going to burn, where you can do it, etc.

Google uses structured data it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information from the web and the world at large. Google search also uses structured data to activate special features and improvements in search results. Use correct URLs in structured data. Make sure that mobile data structured data URLs are updated to mobile URLs. If you use Data Highlighter, train it on your mobile site.

It is a webmaster tool that allows Google to interpret the format of structured data on your website. Put the same metadata on the two versions of your site Make sure that the descriptive title and the meta description are equivalent in the two versions of your site. Watch Your Ads Follow the Better Ads standard when you display ads on mobile devices. For example, ads at the top of the page may take up too much space on a mobile device, which is a bad user experience. Better Ads identifies ad experiences that fall below a consumer acceptability threshold and are most likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers.

To date, more than 100,000 consumers have participated in the Coalition’s research to develop its set of standards for best advertising. Visual content Make sure your mobile site images follow best image practices Provide high-quality images. Do not use too small or low-resolution images on the mobile site. A format of 1200 × 670 is a good compromise. Adding context to images helps refine search results, which helps improve the quality of traffic to your site.

Optimize location, such as placing images near the text they relate to. It may also be a good idea to place the most important image near the top of the page. Use a supported format for images Avoid including text in images Do not use URLs that change each time the page loads for images. Use the same image URLs on both versions of your site. Use the same descriptive titles, captions, file names and text relevant to the images on the mobile site as you do for the official site.

Video content Among the billions of searches performed on Google every day, many are related to video content. Google Search video results appear in both the combined Search results and in the video search results. When a user clicks on a video result, he is redirected to the corresponding page on which he can view the video in question. Almost identical to the content of the images with some subtleties. Place the video in an easy-to-find position on the page when viewed on a mobile device.

For example, it can affect the ranking of the video if users have to scroll too long to find the video on the mobile page. In order to display a video in search results, Google needs certain information about it and may collect it in different ways.

The Most Common Mistakes

Here is a list of the most common errors that can prevent sites from being activated for mobile indexing first or could cause a ranking drop after a site is activated for mobile indexing: Structured data missing no-index tag on pages Missing image Blocked image Poor quality image Alternative text missing Page title missing Meta description missing URL for mobile is a URL error page which points to a secondary resource in the page Mobile page blocked by robots .txt Desktop pages that are redirected to the same mobile page. Office website redirects to mobile home page Page quality problems Video problems Load (traffic) problems for your mobile site.