Google’s mobile-first index has reached a new milestone as it now powers more than half of all Google’s search results just nine months after it was officially launched.
Google has been pushing mobile readiness and smartphone optimised content for some time now, and the culmination of those efforts came in March with the arrival of a mobile-first index that crawls the web-based on how pages render on devices away from the desktop.
In a webmaster blog post on Wednesday, Google said that mobile-first indexing is now used on the majority of pages that are shown in search results around the world. Its dominance means that brands should do everything they can to update web pages in preparation for the New Year.
Google said that pages are only moved over when they are mobile ready and that they will receive a notification via the Search Console when they have made the switch. Google evaluates pages each day to see whether they are compatible.
Google also revealed the most common issues that it sees when evaluating content. The first is the absence of structured data, which should be present on both desktop and mobile versions of pages. It added: “This is important because with mobile-first indexing, we’ll only use the mobile version of your page for indexing, and will otherwise miss the structured data.”
The second issue is the lack of alt-text on mobile pages. Again, when this is used for images on the desktop, it should also be included for mobile as it enables Google to gain a better understanding of their context.