Google warns publishers to “expect some traffic loss” if these mobile-first guidelines are not met

What's New in Publishing 24 Jan 2020 12:35

Google has already enabled mobile-first indexing—using the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking—by default for all new websites, since mid-2019. For older websites, it’s still continuing to monitor and evaluate pages, and Googlebot will primarily crawl and index pages with the smartphone agent going forward

Google Search now uses only one index; there isn’t a separate mobile-first index any more.

Earlier, the Google index used the desktop version of a page’s content for evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. As it switches more existing sites to mobile-first indexing, publishers may lose traffic if the mobile versions of their sites are not compliant with Google’s mobile-first indexing best practices.

This week, the company announced some significant updates to its guidelines on mobile-first indexing, which it advises site owners to check out “whether your site has been moved over already or not.”

There are a number of such best practices detailed in the updated guide, covering content, metadata, structured data, ads placement, visual content, videos and URLs. 

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