Google has announced that ‘mobile-first’ indexing will now be the main criteria for ranking all new web domains starting July 1st. Google will start factoring in the mobile version of the website before evaluating, indexing, and ranking a new website. This comes close on the heels of Google introducing AMP-enabled Gmail.
Google announced the mobile-first indexing is limited only to the new sites that are previously unknown to Google Search. The company had announced its mobile-first indexing plan back in 2016. It started rolling out the mobile-first indexing in December 2017 to a handful of sites. Google began rolling out mobile-indexing on a wider scale in March last year.
In an official announcement, Google’s Developer Advocate, John Mueller writes, “We’re happy to announce that ‘mobile-first indexing’ will be enabled by default for all new, previously unknown to Google Search websites, starting 1 July, 2019. We will notify them through Search Console once they’re seen as being ready. Since the default state for new websites will be ‘mobile-first indexing’, there’s no need to send a notification. We’re happy to see how the web has evolved from being focused on desktop to becoming mobile-friendly, and now to being mostly crawlable and indexable with mobile user-agents.”
With increasing traffic coming from mobile devices, Google is understandably changing its focus. In the announcement, Google explains how mobile-first indexing will help company’s primary mobile users in getting better search results on the web. Since 2015, majority of Google users have started searching from mobile devices.
Most of the websites today show same content to users across desktop and mobile devices. These websites have responsive frameworks that show the same content in adaptive formats to users. There are websites that are yet to achieve this parity. Website owners need to check for mobile-first indexing of their website using Google’s URL Inspection Tool in the search console.
To make it clear, only the brand new sites will be indexed using mobile first indexing by default. For older sites, Google will continue to monitor and evaluate pages for their readiness for mobile fist indexing. The company will notify the website admins through the website Search Console.