Google: new deadline for mobile-first indexing March 2021

Google has announced that the initial plan to enable mobile-first indexing for all websites in September 2020 was canceled. Google will be switching to mobile-first indexing at the end of March 2021.

mobile-first deadline: March 2021

How to prepare your website for mobile-first indexing

Google will only get the information from the mobile version of your website. For that reason, ensure that Google can find the full content of your website in the mobile version of your site. 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:

Check your mobile website now

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".