Sites that are prepared for the roll-out of Google’s mobile-first index will be indexed first, it was recently revealed.
John Mueller confirmed this in a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout that was picked up by Search Engine Journal.
Mueller said: “The team is currently looking at it, in the way that they want to roll this out step by step. And that means we will look at sites individually, and if they are ready for the mobile-first index that works for them, we will switch them over to the mobile-first indexing, and those that aren’t ready yet will wait a bit longer.”
Google confirmed it was testing its mobile-first search index last November.
The change will see Google’s algorithms use the mobile version of a site’s content as its primary source for ranking.
Speaking about the update, Google said: “Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.
“Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”
In terms of getting ready for the change, Google said that if webmasters have a responsive site or a dynamic serving site where the primary content and markup is equivalent across mobile and desktop, they shouldn’t have to change anything.
However if the primary content and markup is different across mobile and desktop, webmasters should consider making changes such as ensuring to serve structured markup for both desktop and mobile versions, as well as verifying and adding mobile versions to Search Console.
It is not currently known when the mobile-first index will roll out, but it is expected to be in 2018.
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