In 2018, Google introduced a Mobile-First Indexing (MFI) system, which was applied for more than half the web pages in Google search results.
The MFI system is using a website’s mobile version to index its pages in Google search results.
In a new announcement on Tuesday, the company said that from July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing will be the default for all new websites.
MFI will make Google crawl the newly registered websites with its smartphone Googlebot – its content which is optimized for mobile devices will be used to index its web pages and also to understand the website’s structured data.
The search giant, originally, announced the mobile-first indexing initiative in 2016 — the company started to test mobile-first indexing with a small group of websites without specifying sites details in December 2017.
Last March, mobile-indexing began to roll out extensively, and by the end of last year, Google’s smartphone Googlebot indexed half the pages on the web.
Google will not send notifications to the new domains that they’re being listed as mobile-first indexing because this will be the default behavior. So don’t wait to be notified while you release a new website after July 1st that your site is using mobile-first indexing.
Google explained that most of the users start searching from the mobile phone, and this is the reason mobile versions of the websites would be used to deliver the search results.
Mobile-first indexing is not the only way Google has started to serve the mobile majority as it began to give a boost in the ranking of the website with mobile-friendly web pages several years ago.
Last year, the company added a signal that uses page speed of the website to help determine a page’s ranking in mobile search.
From July 2018, a website that takes time in loading loses its search ranking.
Those websites which not yet obtained this similarity have many different resources which can help them to get started.
“While we continue to support responsive web design, dynamic serving, and separate mobile URLs for mobile websites, we recommend responsive web design for new websites. Because of issues and confusion we’ve seen from separate mobile URLs over the years, both from search engines and users, we recommend using a single URL for both desktop and mobile websites.”, explained John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, in a blog post on Webmaster Central.
Website owners can use the URL Inspection Tool provided in the Search Console to review when the site was last crawled and indexed for mobile-first indexing of their website.
Google additionally gives a decent explanation on the way to make websites work for mobile-first indexing and indicates that web sites guide responsive internet layout — no longer separate mobile URLs.
Google said in its announcement that they are glad to see how the web has grown from being focused on the desktop to become mobile-friendly and now to being mostly crawlable and indexable with mobile user-agents.