As Google is bringing much attention to Mobile-first indexing, let’s try to understand the factors to keep in mind to ensure better mobile-first indexing.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Mobile-first indexing means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query.
As most people access Google search from mobile phones, that is why Google is emphasizing on mobile websites for better SEO scores.
When was mobile-first SEO enabled by Google?
On July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing was enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search).
What are the Factors to keep in mind to ensure Better Mobile-first indexing?
- Implementing mobile-friendly web design
- Allow Googlebot to access your mobile website
- Try to keep an identical, website across mobile and desktop platforms
- Analyze structured data
- Double-check your ad placements
- Provide attention to visual content
Implementing mobile-friendly web design
Implementing a mobile-friendly website is really important. If your website is not optimized for a mobile device that may cause problems for the user and also lead to a bad user experience.
These factors are equally responsible for the SEO of a website. Google monitors these problems closely and any such defect may lead to a bad SEO for your website.
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Allow Googlebot to access your mobile website
Googlebot is Google’s web crawler software, and it needs to be able to access and render your content. Allow Googlebot to examine your site’s resources and make sure your mobile site has different URLs from your desktop site. Also, remember to check whether a disallow directive might be blocking the URL.
To ensure that your site ranks, you need to use identical meta robot tags on your mobile and desktop sites. Different meta robot tags could result in Google failing to crawl and index your page when your website is enabled for mobile-first indexing.
Finally, be sure you’re not using “lazy loading” for primary content. Lazy loading is an optimization technique that defers the loading of content that is neither visible nor critical. Keep in mind that Googlebot will refuse to load content that requires any user interactions to load, like typing or clicking.
Try to keep an identical website across mobile and desktop platforms
Don’t try to keep a different website for mobiles and desktops. First of all the cost and effort to maintain two different websites for two different platforms is very high.
Always try to provide the user the same user experience on both platforms. This will help your website get a higher index position.
Analyze structured data
If you have chosen to structure your data, you need to ensure that it is present on your mobile and desktop sites and that both have the same structured data.
Double-check your ad placements
Ads can affect your mobile page ranking if you’re not careful about where you place them. When you’re viewing your ads on a mobile device, refer to the Better Ads Standard and make sure it meets the criteria.
Provide attention to visual content
Any images or videos on the mobile version of your site have their own list of best practices to follow. When it comes to images, you need to provide your user with high-quality pictures in a supported format. Be sure to only include images that have enough high resolution and don’t look too small when viewed on a smaller screen.
For images and videos, try not to use URLs that change when a page is loading the images because, if the URLs keep changing, Google will be unable to process and index your images correctly.
As for video content, it needs to be easily found on a mobile device and should be placed in a supported format and relevant tags. You don’t want to place a video too far down the page, forcing users to scroll endlessly. The best practice for structured data applies here too – you want to keep this data identical on the mobile and desktop versions of your site.