Google updates mobile-first indexing best practices
Google has announced an update to their mobile-first indexing best practices on Twitter:
We made some significant updates to our developers documentation on mobile-first indexing (☎️#⃣1⃣📙?), Whether your site has been moved over already or not, it’s worth checking it out 👇https://t.co/yo4mGQZkqh
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) January 22, 2020
What is new?
There are a few changes compared to the previous version of the guidelines. Most of the recommendations are obvious:
- The mobile version and the desktop version of your website should have the same content.
- Your pages should be crawlable.
- Invisible elements such as meta robots and structured data should be the same for desktop and mobile.
- If you use structured data on mobile pages, the URLs should point to mobile pages.
- Use high quality images and the same img alt texts on mobile and desktop.
- Ensure that hreflang implemantation and canonical attributes are correct.
If you have a mobile website, Google will ignore your desktop website. Google’s John Mueller confirmed this on Twitter:
No, we will ignore any & all content on the desktop site if we index the mobile version. We will only index the mobile version.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) January 22, 2020
Optimize your website for mobile
Google’s John Mueller keeps telling webmasters and Google that they should use responsive website design to create their mobile websites.
Theoretically, you could have dedicated mobile pages (for example on an m.example.com subdomain). However, John Mueller strongly recommends avoiding dedicated mobile pages because they make things too complicated.
Having one responsive website that works with mobile and desktop is the best option.