Google has announced that Google Search will now be moving to ‘mobile-first indexing’ starting from 1 July. It means that Google will be evaluating and ranking domains based on its mobile-version website by default rather than indexing the desktop-version.
To display search results on its search engine, Google crawls and indexes websites. Although it started off with desktop-first indexing, Google announced back in 2016 that it was experimenting with mobile-first indexing. It means the Googlebot crawled the mobile version of a website first instead of the desktop version. It was more like a priority and it didn’t mean that the bot wasn’t crawling desktop-first websites.
The Google Webmaster blog post points out that only new websites that were “previously unknown to Google Search” are going to be indexed by default. For domains that have desktop websites and have already been recognised by Google Search, nothing changes. They will undergo desktop-first indexing and the desktop version will be considered as the mobile version. This means that such websites will adjust based on the smartphone’s display size.
Google said, “For older websites, we’ll continue monitoring and evaluating pages for their readiness for mobile first indexing and will notify them through Search Console once they’re seen as being ready.”
While this is more relevant to website owners and webmasters, it also means that the search results users see, starting from 1 July, are going to be from mobile-friendly websites. Although Google says that it will continue showing appropriate websites whether they are mobile or desktop, however, from the specified date onwards, users can expect more relevant search results on mobile devices.