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

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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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David Boggs    - David
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