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Not all mobile-friendly websites are ready for Google mobile-first indexing

31 March 2021 (Edited 05 April 2021)

Google wants your important content to be shown to users of all devices

Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said in a discussion on Reddit this week that Google uses other criteria besides mobile-friendliness in deciding if a website is ready to be moved to mobile-first indexing.

Google uses different bots to crawl sites in the mobile-first index vs. the regular index.

If your website has been moved to the mobile-first index, Google should have notified you of that by e-mail.

If your website is still in the regular index, that could be because:

  • Google finds your site not to be mobile-friendly. You can easily check on that by running Google's Mobile-Friendly Test on your website.
  • Your site doesn't show identical content - or at least important content - to all users
  • Structured data appears on desktop pages but not on mobile
  • Fewer images are shown to mobile users
  • Broken or fewer internal links on mobile devices

For a quick - but thorough - check on all those items, try the Mobile-First Index Tool here: https://technicalseo.com/tools/mobile-first-index/ which looks like this:

Just enter your primary or desktop URL, select a crawler from the User Agents dropdown - you have choices of Googlebot Regular vs. Smartphone, Chrome Windows vs. Android or SEO Spider Regular vs. Mobile.

The tool then produces in great detail several Desktop vs. Mobile Reports:

  • Crawling/Indexing
  • Content
  • Google Tests
  • Images
  • Links
  • Structured Data

Is your website ready for mobile-first indexing?

Use this nice, free tool to find out.

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And if you have questions or comments, you can easily send them to me with the Quick Reply form, below, or send me an e-mail.

David Boggs    - David
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