Mobile-first indexing has been creating a buzz since 2017. It is the newest advancement in Google’s ever-continuing efforts in creating a more mobile-friendly web. With the increasing number of mobile searchers, it can only mean that mobile-friendliness has had a huge impact in driving traffic to the websites.

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Although mobile-first indexing is exactly what the term implies, it does not only index mobile-responsive websites. Take for example; if the website is not mobile-friendly, the desktop site can still be indexed. However, Google can take away crucial points from the desktop website, which can affect its ranking in the search engine. On the other hand, mobile-friendly websites have better chances of ranking even for desktop users.

Credits: moz.com

How to Prepare Mobile Sites for Mobile-First Index?

If you invest a lot of time optimizing your mobile website, you also need to make sure that its content is as high-quality and valuable as that found on your desktop website. This strategy ensures that Google is not going to disregard your site just because your mobile website fails to provide useful and relevant information to online users. To prevent this problem, invest in a responsive design to maintain the usefulness of your content on both mobile and desktop.

After optimizing the content, take the following action to streamline your mobile site for mobile-first indexing:

To ensure that Google is able to crawl and index the pages of the mobile site by making sure that your robot.txt file does not block the pages and by adding each to Google Search Console.

The rel-”canonical” HTML tag should be integrated into mobile pages. The tagging helps direct Google’s algorithm to the mobile site’s matching desktop URL and vice versa.

Test the load speed of your mobile pages through Google PageSpeed Insights. It provides website operators on how to boost the loading speed, compressing large image files, jazzing up browser caching, and CSS and JavaScript.

Gathering information from Google’s webmaster blog posts by reading the latest updates on mobile-first indexing. However, there are two important things to keep in mind:

There is nothing to change if you have a responsive website that enables content and markup to perform equally across both mobile and desktop.
Implement necessary changes to your website if you have a site configuration in which its main content and markup are not identical across mobile and desktop.

Although Google has begun testing the mobile-first index on a few websites, it may still take a couple more months before it can finally roll out. Keep all the aforementioned information in mind to help prepare you for the official arrival of the mobile-first index.