Checklist for Google’s Mobile-First Index

Google’s Mobile First Index has started rolling out and you have to prepare your websites. What this index means is that Google will rank the mobile-version of your website first and then look at the desktop one, should you not have one.

In case you are not aware, Google crawls your website for its index i.e. sends bots to go through all the pages in your website for ranking results purposes. The introduction of this Mobile First Index is as a result of there being more mobile users then desktop, so it makes sense to optimize your SEO for a mobile audience.

You may be wondering which steps to take to ensure that your website is recognized by the index? Check below.

Simple checklist to prepare you and your website for Google’s Mobile First Index:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness: If you have been paying attention to your SEO guidelines and practices then this will make the process easier for your website to be indexed properly. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendliness tool to search or see how your website is compatible with mobile devices.
  2. Mobile Site Configuration: This is a technique you can use to ensure that your website is configured for different devices and helps search engines to understand your website. You can read more about this process here.
  3. Structured data testing: Doing this test helps ensure that your website’s structured mark-up i.e. language is tested, developed and modified accordingly.
  4. Googlebots: In order to be indexed you have to allow Googlebots to crawl all over your website and running your website through the Robots.txt tool will ensure that there is no restrictions are made for the indexing of your website.
  5. Canonical tags: These can be added to the html of any webpage and informs search engines that there are multiple versions of the same content that exist and to only index that specific page. If your website has these tags present then no changes need to be made, you may insert them as needed to get a proper index done.
  6. Website speed: This is not only important for this index, your website’s speed should generally be fast. There is information to consume and business to acquire, and it’s more efficient when loading speed is quick. There is a tool for this too.

Though this may seem a bit scary, there is no need to panic. If you still have some unanswered questions then go here for FAQs. The most important thing to remember is to always ensure that your content is created with a mobile context and use this as an opportunity to increase your audience.

February 9, 2017