Before delving deep into the concept of Mobile First indexing, we must start with defining the common concept of Indexing.
What is indexing?
Indexing is the standard procedure by which web pages are accumulated into Google search. Depending on the usage of meta-tags, Google crawls and indexes our web pages. An index tag refers to a page that can be added to the index of a web search. If you are a blogger and using WordPress as your default platform, then you must be delighted to know that every WordPress post and page are indexed.
What is Mobile First Indexing?
Mobile First Indexing refers to the recording of additional relevant traffic in our websites from Google-bot smartphone. Nowadays, snippets are created from the mobile version of the website content and are displayed in Google search result pages.
Although the name has the phrase “mobile-first”, it is not a mobile-only index. For a website having a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be involved in the index. The lack of mobile-friendly optimisation could hamper the google rankings of that site. A mobile-optimised website gains an improved rank in the desktop version.
Mobile-first indexing puts focus on the mobile version of pages to create better results and user experiences for mobile users of Google.
Steps to take before introducing mobile-first indexing.
If you produce separate mobile and desktop pages or utilise dynamic content delivery for different device types, the following steps should be taken even before mobile-first indexing rolls out.
Mobile and Desktop versions of your web page must contain the required metadata.
Mobile and Desktop versions of your page should be tested in Search Console.
Both the versions must have similar content.
Mobile and Desktop version of your page must possess the required structured data.
Any ‘rel=hreflang’ tags for internationalisation must contain separate links for both versions.
Servers can handle any growth in crawl rate for the mobile version.
Your robot.txt directives should be same and optimised for both versions.
Correct usage of ‘rel=canonical’ and ‘rel=alternate’ link elements between both versions.
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