Google delays mobile-first indexing on search


Google provided an update on mobile-indexing.

Google first started working on mobile-first indexing a number of years ago. Since then, they switched to indexing the majority of web pages with Googlebot-Smartphone. Their existing plan was to complete mobile-first indexing by March 2021.

In the meantime, after analyzing the sites that are not yet indexed mobile-first, Google determined that some of these sites are still not ready to be shifted over due to various, unexpected challenges that they’re facing. Because of these difficulties, they have decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing.

In Google Search Console, there are two ways to check for mobile-first indexing: the status is shown on the settings page and in the URL Inspection Tool. For websites that Google has already moved to mobile-first indexing, no changes are necessary. Google will continue to crawl and index your website with mobile Googlebot.

Google recommends that websites which Google has not yet moved over to mobile-first indexing follow the mobile-first indexing best practices guide, also taking into account the information from Google’s last blog post.  These remaining sites will be moved over gradually. If a website is not verified in Search Console, Google won’t be able to inform it of a pending switch to mobile-first indexing.

If your website has different mobile and desktop versions, you may see changes when we shift your site over to mobile-first indexing. If your website has the same content on mobile and desktop, you generally won’t see changes in how your site is shown in Search. In general, this is a technical change with regards to how Google crawls and indexes the content on a website. If your website is not in mobile-first indexing, and you have resolved any issues that your site has, you don’t need to take further action. Over time, as Google continues to see sites become ready for mobile-first indexing, they will start shifting these over again.

Earlier, Google thought that they could complete the move to mobile-first indexing by March 2021. However, they found that some sites were facing unexpectedly difficult challenges and they wanted to accommodate their timelines. Google currently doesn’t have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction.


About Konstantinos Zournas

Studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and now living in Athens, Greece. Love domains and building websites. Went online in 1995, learned about HTML in 1996 and about domains in 2002. Started publishing the blog in 2012.

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