Google indexing preference

Indexing best practices for mobile devices

Google has recently changed the preference of indexing a website giving priority to mobile websites, because the demand for search is higher in mobile phones than in other devices.

Indexing best practices for mobile devices

Mobile indexing first means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of content to index and classify.

As of July 1, 2019, mobile indexing is first enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search). For old or existing websites, we continue to monitor and evaluate pages based on the best practices detailed in this guide. We inform site owners in the Search Console of the date their site was changed to mobile indexing first.

It’s very important to make sure that Googlebot can access and display 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 (especially noindex or nofollow), Google may not track and index your page when your site is enabled for mobile indexing first.

Do not load the primary content deferredly after user interaction. Googlebot will not upload content that requires user interactions (for example, swiping, clicking or writing) to upload. Make sure Google can see content uploaded deferred.

Let Google track your resources. Some resources have different URLs on the mobile site than those on the desktop site. If you want Google to track your URLs, make sure you're not blocking the URL with the rejection policy.

It is important that the content be the same on desktop computers and mobile devices

Make sure your mobile site contains the same content as your desktop site. If your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, consider updating your mobile site so that its main content is equivalent to your desktop site. Almost all indexing on your site comes from the mobile site.

WARNING: If you intend for the mobile page to have less content than the desktop page you can expect some traffic loss when your site enables mobile indexing first since Google cannot get as much information from your page as before.

Use the same clear and meaningful headers on the mobile site as you do on the desktop site.

Even with the equivalent content, differences in DOM or design between the desktop and the mobile page can make Google understand the content differently.

Verify your structured data

If you have structured data on your website make sure they are present in both versions of your site. Some specific points to verify:

Make sure your mobile and desktop sites have the same structured data. Use the correct URLs in structured data. Make sure that the URLs of the structured data in the mobile versions are updated to the mobile URLs.

If you use the Data Marker, adapt it to your mobile website. If you use the Data Marker to provide structured data, check the Data Marker board regularly to see if there are any errors in extraction.

Put the same metadata in both versions of your web site

Make sure the descriptive title and meta description are equivalent in both versions of your site.

Verify the location of your ads

Do not allow ads to impair the ranking of your mobile page. Follow the Better Ads standard when displaying ads on mobile devices. For example, the ads at the top of the page may take up too much space on a mobile device, which is a bad user experience.

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