Google is always trying to focus on the high quality and related content asked by the user. Time to time Google releases algorithms and updates to improve content visibility, removing spams backlinks, penalizing thin content websites and improving website ranking.
Mobile-first indexing helps other website owners to improve their crawling, cache and other factors by increasing website visibility in search engines.
Google has also released many algorithms to serve its user best results in search engines.
Till now, Google has released eight algorithms to give their use speedy and best quality results in search engines.
6) Rank Brain
Panda Algorithm was released on 24, February 2011 to penalize websites having duplicate content, less content and content having more keyword stuffing.
Penguin Algorithm was released on 24, April 2012 to penalize sites having irrelevant links and spam and do more optimization on anchor text.
Hummingbird Algorithm was launched on 22, August 2013 to penalize sites having low-quality content with keyword stuffing in their website content.
Pigeon algorithm was released on 24, July 2014 (United States Region) and on 22 December 2014 for (United Kingdom, Canada and Australia). This algorithm targets the websites having poor on-page and off-page seo.
The mobile algorithm was released on 21, April 2015, this algorithm was published to target websites having low or poor mobile usability and having no mobile-friendly pages.
6) Rank Brain
Rank Brain algorithm was released on 26, October 2015. The main motive behind this release is to improve search engine results by punishing websites having low content and poor UX.
Possum was released on 1, September 2016, to resolve the massive competition on your target locations.
Fred algorithm was released on 8, March 2017. This algorithm targeted to resolve the websites having thin or less content on their website and also sites which focus on gathering income or revenue.
Google is always focusing on serving the user’s intent. Each day they try something new to help users a better user experience of their product and services.
This time Google is focusing on the launch of mobile-first indexing. They have been working on this project for two years. They have enabled mobile-first indexing by default for most recent crawled websites.
The plan to launch this indexing method was in September 2020. But due to this, pandemic (COVID-19), working on this indexing method needs more time to launch.
Now the date of the launching this indexing method is postponed to the end of March 2021. A significant priority task for Google is to switch on to mobile-first indexing.
Now Google is ready to launch a new indexing method, which is “Mobile-First Indexing”.
What is google mobile-first indexing?
When Google bots visit our page, then they visit the desktop version of the page to crawl and fetch relevant information from the article or blog. When a user asks with some query, and if the crawl page consists of related information, then the desktop indexed page will be shown in Google SERP. This process of indexing a desktop version of the page is known as desktop-first indexing.
But with the mobile-first indexing, google bots visit, mobile version of the page to crawl and index them. When a user asks with some query, and if the indexed page consists of related information, then the information will be shown in Google SERP. This process of indexing a mobile version of the page is known as mobile-first indexing.
If your website is not ready according to mobile-first indexing, then some issues can be blocking your website to get indexed by google smartphone bots. So it’s a better time to resolve all your website issues as early as you can. You can do mobile-first indexing seo to resolve issues.
How can you check mobile-first indexing for your website?
You can quickly check your crawling states and bot type by using the URL inspection tool in google search console.
If you have not setup google search console, then do it now.
Make sure you keep an eye on the type of google bot crawling your page.
If you see that Googlebot Smartphone crawls your url, then there is no problem with your website. You don’t need to worry about anything.
But if you see other than Googlebot Smartphone, then you need to resolve issues which are preventing your website from getting crawled by Googlebot smartphone.
What problem can you face during mobile-first indexing?
Ensure Googlebot Can View Your Content
During this mobile-first indexing, google only kept focusing on the mobile version of the pages. It is necessary that Googlebot can visit your urls and other content too.
Use the same robots.txt for mobile and desktop versions. Be careful while using nofollow and noindex. Using such relations will not allow google bots to index and follow your website content and urls.
If you need more information regarding the advanced settings of robots.txt to improve your seo performance, you can visit my blog.
Mobile Version in Lazy Loading Mode
People use lazy loading mode in mobiles and desktops too. Lazy loading is used for image and video loading. You need to remove lazy loading in the mobile version of the pages. Using lazy loading requires an action which can not be possible by google bots to do.
For better understanding, assume your desktop version of the page consists of 6 images, and in mobile version only 3 of them are visible. You use lazy mode in the mobile version, which needs action to view all six images.
Mobile Pages May Be Missing Structured Data
You can easily organize your website content with the help of structured data as they allow you to present your content in stylish ways in google search results.
Be sure to use the same structured data you are using on your desktop version of pages and in mobile versions of pages. It is mandatory to have a mobile version of your page, as it is necessary for the indexing process.
NOTE: To be considered in mobile-first indexing, it is not mandatory to have mobile-friendly pages.
Alt-text Missing in images of Mobile Pages
It’s a good practice to use alt text in images, and they describe your images a lot. Users can easily understand the image by taking a look at it, but in the case of google bot crawler, they can’t get detail of your image if you are not using alt text.
Alt-text is the only way by which google crawler can understand the image is on which topic. You can quickly check alt tags in your source code by searching “alt” tags in images if it is missing then its better to use alt text now.
Doing this makes some chances that your images may appear in google search image results.
Take a look at the best practice of Alt text in images.
Best way to use alt text
<img src=”cat-on-sofa.jpg” alt=”A big cat sitting on brown sofa”>
No alt text
Don’t Block All CSS Files & Images
Keep in mind what you are showing and what you are hiding. Many content have different urls when checking on the mobile version. So don’t hide your .css file by robots.txt. Doing this will incorrectly render your website and which can affect your website ranking in Google SERPs.
If you also block images by robots.txt, then you can also lose your image visibility in google images.
Better Use of Heading Tags
You need to use heading tags the same as in the mobile version as on the desktop version. If heading tags are different, it can directly affect your website ranking in search results.
Let’s make it clear if your desktop version of the page has heading like:
<h1>Cheapest Remote For TV</h1>
Then your heading in the mobile version must be the same rather than using different headings like:
<div>Cheapest TV Remote</div> (not using a heading tag)
Check Image Resolution and Quality
You need to use images and videos of excellent quality rather than using low quality. If image resolutions are too low and small in size, they may be excluded from google images, when indexed.
Google does not consider such low-quality images in search results.
Image & Video Placement
It is imperative to place your images and videos in the primary position so that users can easily access it in the mobile version of the page. Don’t put your video & ad code nearly in the same place. Doing this will impact on your user experience.
You can easily find more valuable information on google’s developer guide for mobile-first indexing.
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