Mobile-First Index simply means that Google prioritizes the indexing of mobile websites in Google results. For a long time, Google used desktop or desktop websites for indexing in search results. However, Google indicated on July 1, 2019 that it will prioritize mobile indexing in its search engine for all new websites.
It's important to note that, contrary to popular belief, Google only uses one index type , which can be desktop or mobile.
From my experience at Yahoo, the trend of mobile versus desktop users is clear. In the early 2000s, desktop traffic represented more than 80% of our global traffic. However, as of today, August 27, 2019, desktop traffic represents less than 35%.
The mobile boom in the last decade has been devastating, with more than 65% of users accessing the internet with their mobile.
Therefore, this trend, which is increasing month after month, makes us think that we should prioritize and invest in our mobile website.
Google thinks exactly the same, hence these changes by prioritizing mobile indexing in their search results.
Desktop or mobile? To know what type of robot Google uses to crawl our website, we must go to Google Search Console > Settings:
As we can see in the photo, Google uses the Googlebot Smartphone to crawl my website. In my case, Google switched from desktop to mobile on September 6, 2018. And in your case, what bot does Google use to index your website?
There is no need to be alarmed, yet, if your website is indexed by the desktop Googlebot. Google, at the moment, is not going to index a web page better if it is the mobile Googlebot that has discovered said page, instead of the desktop Googlebot.
Of course, you should start optimizing your mobile website to switch to Mobile-First Index.
Depending on the type of website you have:
My recommendation is to create a mobile web page as soon as possible. As we have seen with the desktop vs mobile trend, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to capture mobile users. This was fine in 2002, but today you're lost if you don't switch to mobile.
If your website is not mobile friendly, Doctor Your Web can help you create a new mobile-focused website for just €149.
A responsive website is a website that changes its CSS depending on the device. In short, it is the same website that changes its design if you use a computer, a tablet or a mobile. This is the type of web that I use in my blog.
To signal to all browsers that your web page is responsive on all devices, add the following tag to theof your HTML code.
Make sure page elements aren't too close together
That the content of the page is not wider than the screen of the device, in this case the mobile
That the text size is not too small to read on mobile
If your website has different content for desktop and mobile, it means you have a dynamic server and/or different URLs for desktop (example.com) and mobile (m.example.com).
Your mobile website must have the same content as your desktop website
It's actually common sense. If you want Google to prioritize your mobile website, you are the first to treat your mobile website with priority. This means that you must offer the same content, images (with their alts attributes) or videos on your mobile website as on your desktop website.
Structured data must be visible on both websites
You can use Data Highlighter to perform the checks
Use the same metadata on both websites
Titles and meta descriptions must be the same on desktop and mobile.
Check both mobile and desktop websites in Google Search Console
Check your HrefLang links
If you use geolocation on your website, check that mobile hreflang links point to mobile URLs. Same with desktop.
As with hreflang, check that your canonicals point to the correct place: