Mobile first indexing is one of the latest developments by Google to make its search better and relevant. What is essentially means is that the search engine will predominantly use a website’s mobile version for its indexing and ranking purposes over the desktop version. But that doesn’t mean that it is just a mobile-only search index. If a website doesn’t have a mobile-optimized version, the desktop site can be included within the Google’s index; but the possible absence of a mobile-friendly experience could bring down the rankings of that site, and a website with a much better mobile optimization would get a ranking boost, even for searches made on a desktop.
Based on Google’s own latest guidance on the topic, if your website is mobile responsive or otherwise quite identical in its desktop and mobile versions, then you may need not to do anything differently. Having said that; even if you have a completely responsive website; it is still quite crucial to ensure that the mobile page speeds and their load time are improvised and any images or other elements are optimized correctly for mobile.
What All Things Should You Check about Mobile-First Indexing?
- Content: Ensure that your mobile website version has all the relevant and quality content that exists on your desktop website. This content could include videos, images, text, etc. It is also important to make sure that the formats employed on the mobile version of your website can be crawled and indexed, which includes alt-attributes for images too.
- Optimum Data Structure: While designing your website, it is advisable to include the same structured data mark-up on both of the mobile version and the desktop version of your site. URLs reflected within the structured data on mobile pages should be a mobile version of the URL. You should also avoid adding unnecessary structured data if that is not quite relevant to the content of the pages.
- Metadata: Needless to mention, you should ensure that the titles and the Meta Descriptions are similar on both versions (desktop & mobile) for all pages.
- Href Lang: If you are using rel=hreflang for internationalization, then make sure that your mobile URLs’ href lang annotations are pointing to the mobile version of your region or location variants, and likewise, the desktop URLs should point to the desktop versions.
- Social Metadata: Twitter cards; OpenGraph tag; and other social metadata should be present on both the versions of your website (mobile & desktop).
- Verification of Search Console: If you have only verified your desktop version of the website in Google search console, then ensure that you should also verify the mobile version too. This improves your website rankings.
- App Indexing: In case you have an app indexation set up for your desktop version of the website, you should also want to ensure that you have verified the mobile site in relation to app association files, etc.