In a new blog post, Google announced that they dropped the deadline for mobile-first indexing:
“In the meantime, after analyzing the sites that are not yet indexed mobile-first, we’ve 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, we’ve decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing. [..]
We currently don’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.”
How to prepare your website for mobile-first indexing
With mobile-first indexing, Google will only get the information from the mobile version of your website. If your content cannot be found in the mobile version of your website, Google will ignore it. Mobile SEO is important. Here are some things that you should check:
1. Check the robots meta tags on your mobile pages
Your mobile pages should use the same robots meta tags and your desktop pages. If you mobile pages use noindex or nofollow in the robots meta tag, Google might not be able to index these pages.
2. Check lazy loading web page elements
Google says that you should avoid lazy-loading your primary content based on user interactions (like swiping, clicking, or typing) because Google’s web crawler won’t trigger these user interactions.
3. Check your robots.txt file
Some websites block mobile URLs in the robots.txt file. If you want to be listed in Google’s search results, your robots.txt file should not block your mobile pages. If you block your .css files in your robots.txt file, Google will not be able to render your pages correctly. That can have a negative impact on your Google rankings. You also shouldn’t block images.
4. Make sure the content is the same on desktop and mobile
If the mobile version of your website has less content than the desktop version of your website, you should update the mobile version so that it’s primary content is the same as on the desktop website. Remember that Google will only use the content of the mobile pages. Use the same clear and meaningful headings on your mobile pages as on your desktop pages.
5. Check images and videos
The resolution of the images on your mobile pages should not be too low and the images should not be too small. Do not use small thumbnails instead of regular images. Google considers thumbnail images low quality. Use meaningful image alt attributes that describe the contents of the images.
How to check your mobile website
The web has evolved from desktop to mobile. Without a good mobile website, you won’t succeed. Google recommends responsive website design, i.e. one website that dynamically adjusts the design based on the device that is used to view a page.
You can check the mobile version of your website with the website audit tool in SEOprofiler. SEOprofiler offers many different mobile SEO tools that help you to improve the mobile rankings of your website: