Algorithm Rolled Out: 26 March 2018

Algorithm summary: Overall Gist 

Mobile-first indexing means that Google is shifting its indexing and ranking practices from desktop to mobile versions of websites. We live in a mobile age. It has been excess than 5 years since mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. It makes it more valuable for Google to index and rank content based on mobile pages because more people will see mobile versions.

This blog will teach you how to determine whether Google has already switched your site to mobile-first indexing and how to prepare if they still need to.

How to Get Ready

To be clear, Google does not have separate mobile and desktop indexes. There is only one index, and Google is gradually shifting to indexing mobile versions of sites rather than desktop versions. It can be a problem because content that isn’t visible on your mobile version will be ignored once Google switches you to mobile-first indexing.

As previously stated, this isn’t usually a problem for responsive sites, but it can be for complex sites or those that use old m-dot sites.

Let’s review some things you should consider to ensure a smooth transition.

Technical examinations

You’ll want to ensure that your mobile site has a lot of technical elements. Create a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account and crawl your website if you haven’t already. We’ll crawl your website using a desktop-user agent by default, which means we’ll see how it looks on the desktop. When creating a project, you can change it in the “Crawl Settings” tab or edit it in your “Project Settings.” Switch the user-agent from desktop to mobile.

Save vital information

Typically, there are some differences between how a site appears on mobile and desktop. Because of the smaller screen sizes, it is more difficult to display everything from a desktop site on mobile. Because there isn’t enough room for sidebars or mega-menus, mobile sites frequently exclude or hide content that is present on desktop sites.

With mobile-first indexing, you now have more design options, such as tabbed content. Google no longer discounts hidden content to improve the user experience.

Links and Navigation

External links to your site are probably not a problem. As long as your canonical tags are correct, they should consolidate properly and be counted for your mobile pages.

When it comes to internal links, you want to ensure that all the important links are still available on your mobile version. To save space, a mobile site may have skipped breadcrumbs. Some websites use a smaller menu for mobile than they do for desktop. These may affect your rankings because they alter how PageRank flows through your site.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you are already on mobile-first indexing and will be fine with the upcoming update. If not, you should take a look and plan ahead of time. Mobile is the new normal, and it’s here to stay, so make sure your site is current and accurate. 

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