Google and Mobile-first index

Google has finally completed testing the Mobile-first indexing system, which the entire Internet has so often discussed over the past year. He launched the new Mobile-first indexing system for all sites in early July 2018.

What does it mean?

This means that the desktop web version page scanning system is finally a thing of the past. Now the search is even more focused on the mobile versions pages or responsive web design. Do not confuse with applications, this is a completely different topic. First of all, the search engine will use the website mobile version content for its indexing and ranking. As a result of the fact that people more often use mobile devices for search, the new system is designed to improve the search and help all smartphone users find what they are looking for.

Smartphone Googlebot

This also means that in the website owners logs, more visits can be logged that are made by Googlebot — Smartphone Googlebot. In addition you may notice that descriptions in Google search results are already being created based on the mobile version of the site’s content.

What are the Mobile-first Google indexing features?

Индексирование в Google Mobile-first index - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe - fxdga.eu

To summarize: now when indexing and ranking pages, Googlebot will priority scan the websites mobile versions. This system will make it easier for users of various devices (primarily mobile) to find the right materials.

Everything used to be different. Previously Google’s crawling, indexing and ranking tools were set up to process a website version for computers. Tests showed that if the PC version was different from the mobile version, it was inconvenient for website visitors who searched on smartphones and tablets.

What Fénix Digital Technology specialists say

If Google analysis shows that the two versions of your site (mobile version and PC) are generally consistent with each other, then your site will be relevant in search results for mobile devices. Google is switching to the new system carefully so that this does not create inconvenience for users and site owners.

Mobile Targeted Indexing. Google introduces mobile indexing automatically for each website individually. The implementation occurs at a time when the search engine is confident that the website complies with all Google recommendations and that the website is ready for this.

How to improve mobile page indexing

Mobile-first index Индексирование Google - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe

How to improve page indexing for mobile devices and what recommendations should be followed in order for the website to be indexed by Google? First of all it is necessary to provide the following conditions:

  • Correspondence of two versions of the site. Most importantly, the website mobile version should contain the same materials as the full version (PC version). Since with mobile-oriented indexing page rank will depend on their responsive web design.
  • Therefore Fénix Digital Technology specialists often propose updating the mobile version in order to align it with the full version on a PC. The main website content is also subject to updating: texts, videos, images with alt attributes in those formats that are suitable for scanning and indexing by the search engine.
  • Structured data. It is important that both web versions contain strictly structured data. For example in its work, Fénix Digital Agency checks all URLs (links) that lead to the pages optimized addresses for mobile devices.

Индексирование Mobile-first index - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe - fxdga.eu

Matching metadata

In order to comply with Google’s policies Fénix Digital Technology checks that all headings and meta descriptions match. Because both web versions must contain matching metadata.

Link elements Attributes

rel = canonical, rel = alternate and hreflang. In each version of the site, it is necessary to check the correctness of the attributes rel = canonical and rel = alternate. Hreflang attributes must point to versions intended for the respective device types.

Sufficient server capacity

If your website does not have a responsive web design and does not have a dynamic service, then the search engine’s page crawl speed can potentially increase. In turn a site server with insufficient capacity may fail. It is also worth remembering that with new indexing data from mobile versions may be biased. That is why Fenix Digital carefully works out all the details of both the main and responsive web design. Before starting we evaluate their performance and compliance with the main PC (personal computers) version.

What does the different URL on the website mean?

This means that the PC version content is on the page with one URL, and the similar content for mobile devices (optimized for mobile devices) is located at a different address and has a different URL link. These are so-called subdomain sites (for example: m.example.com).

URL Mobile-first index Google - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe

Regular and AMP pages on the website

Each web page along with the regular version has an AMP version. This is why users see two different URLs. It is worth considering that the Google search robot will give preference to responsive web design.

AMP ссылки в Mobile-first index Google - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe - fxdga.eu

What does dynamic display on a website mean?

Dynamic display means that the content displayed depends on the device with which users visit the website. In this case users see only one URL.

URL Mobile-first index Google - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe

How to track the indexing webpages status on Google?

Статус сайта Mobile-first index Google - FXDGA - FX Digital Agency Europe

First of all you can track the indexing pages status on Google on your own website. To do this use the index report through the Search Console. It is also worth noting that more data has become available in this analytical tool. So new features appeared that allow you to improve your website position in the Google search results.

Among the upgraded features the Google Search Console offers:

  • Website performance, where you can find data for the last 16 months
  • Counting links: both internal and external links to your site
  • Sitemap Report
  • The status AMP pages Report. Analyzed canonical AMP pages: in case your site is completely created using HTML with AMP technology
  • URL verification tool that contains detailed information about your pages indexed by Google
  • Convenience of viewing on mobile devices
  • Report on corrective actions taken, including an actions history
  • The status of work reports results and useful tips. Thanks to the latter you can fix errors on the website and send pages for re-indexing

You can also track page indexing status on your website using an indexing report. In this report you will find out what pages on your website Google will not be able to index. And why.

Article prepared using Google materials.

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