Google announced in a blog post that they’ve started migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing.
What has changed?
Previously, Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have used the desktop version of a page’s content. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking. Google does that because the majority of searches is done on mobile devices.
There’s only one Google index
Google does not have a ‘mobile-first index’ that’s separate from their main index. Historically, the desktop version was indexed, but increasingly, Google will be using the mobile versions of content.
Websites using responsive web design or dynamic serving are generally set for mobile-first indexing. For sites that have AMP and non-AMP pages, Google will prefer to index the mobile version of the non-AMP page.
This is not about ranking
If you do not see increased indexing activity of Google’s mobile bot, you don’t have to panic. Mobile-first indexing is not about how content is ranked. Content gathered by mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over mobile content that’s not yet gathered this way or desktop content. Moreover, if you only have desktop content, you will continue to be represented in Google’s index.
Google encourages you to create a mobile version of your site
Google recommends that you create a mobile-friendly version of your website:
“We continue to encourage webmasters to make their content mobile-friendly. We do evaluate all content in our index — whether it is desktop or mobile — to determine how mobile-friendly it is. Since 2015, this measure can help mobile-friendly content perform better for those who are searching on mobile. Related, we recently announced that beginning in July 2018, content that is slow-loading may perform less well for both desktop and mobile searchers.”
What you should do now
Mobile-friendly content will help your website to perform better in mobile search results. Google uses many different factors to determine the position of a web page in the search results.