Google’s full-scale pivot towards smartphones continues to gather pace after it began rolling out mobile-first indexing to scores of more sites earlier this week. The initial limited process did start six months ago, but the search engine giant is now stepping up its plans.
Google said sites that are up to speed with the best practices and tactics for creating content and pages for its mobile focused index will now begin migrating over, which may be the precursor to a larger scale move in the coming months. Either way, mobile will continue to be a primary focus in 2018 and beyond.
Now is a good a time as any for brands to embrace a mobile-first culture for content and web design. The desktop version of a page’s content has traditionally been the de facto index for SERPs. But the rise of mobile content consumption has driven the need for an index that can serve up articles, blogs and other content optimised for smartphones.
Google evaluates a website’s readiness for mobile-first indexing using a list of best practices, which includes ensuring a mobile site has the same amount of content as the desktop equivalent, and including both structured data and metadata on both versions of the site.
Google is notifying webmasters and site owners via the Search Console, so they know when they have been moved to the new index, and has revealed that they will also witness a “significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot” and the mobile version of a page in search results.