Google Now Indexing for Mobile Phones First
The first announcement that Google was moving away from their algorithms typically looking at the desktop version of a site towards a mobile-first approach came in 2016.
At the time, Google announced that:
‘Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.’
By March 2021, Google will have switched ALL websites from desktop-first to mobile-first indexing, having been through a transitional period of moving sites over when their systems recognized that they were ready to do so.
Any new websites launched after July 2019 automatically went to mobile-first indexing, but some existing sites have yet to be moved over.
And, while many of you will have had your sites crawled by a smartphone Googlebot for some time, it is something that every SEO and digital marketer now needs to be paying close attention to.
Over the coming months, Google will be 100% mobile-first, and that means you need to make sure you understand what this means and how to optimize for it.