What is Mobile First Indexing and how does it affect SEO? A Complete Guide

Do you know what this mobile-first indexing is? Why Google is giving more importance to this new SEO update. If you are a blogger or your website, then you must know about this mobile-first indexing. It is very much heard that Google has recently included Mobile-First Indexing in its latest development to make the web more mobile-friendly so that they can reflect user behavior trends.

The number of mobile users is increasing day by day if we compare it with desktop traffic. More than half of the people on the Internet use smartphones and tablets to see something on the Internet. This is because mobile or smartphones are more user friendly. By the end of 2021, around 80% of global internet traffic will be coming from mobile. Everyone knows that Google Mobiles has been giving a lot of importance to it.

Mobile is the most demanded thing of the present time. But with the creation of only one mobile site, all your issues are not eliminated. Yes, we cannot deny that mobile sites have now become a cornerstone of content consumption and shopping. With mobile searches, people are now able to make a better purchase decision, which is increasing their buying intent. Now the question arises that is our site also ready for Google’s Mobile-First Indexing? Because if not then in the coming times, it is going to come back in comparison to the rest in both sales and traffic.

That’s why today I thought that why should you provide some basic information about ” What is Mobile-First Indexing “, you will get the answers to all the questions that are arising in your mind. In addition to this, I will also discuss some, frequently asked questions, above Mobile-First Indexing, so that all the things related to it will be completely clear. Later, I will tell you about some such SEO tricks, by which you can make your site very mobile friendly very soon and prevent the ranking from decreasing. Then, without delay, let’s start and know what is this Mobile-First Indexing.

What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Mobile-First Indexing means a site that is very mobile-friendly, users are easy to view it from their mobile, and this is why Google indexes these sites more quickly. Considering the consumption of users, Google found that most users like to browse the Internet from their mobile. In such a situation, whatever sites are more mobile-friendly, they provide more good browsing experience to the users. Therefore, Google also indexes such sites as quickly as possible. Also, from the point of view of ranking, the mobile version of your website is more important for indexing.

If you monitor the crawlbot traffic of your site then you will find that Smartphone Googlebot’s traffic has increased significantly and the cached versions of pages are often the mobile version of the page. It is called “Mobile-First” because it is not just mobile-only index: for example, even if a site does not have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site is also indexed. But due to lack of mobile-friendly experience, it affects your site ranking very negatively, and a site that has better mobile experience gets a higher rankings boost even if searchers are not on the desktop.

Mobile version as a Primary version of Website

You must be thinking that this phrase “Mobile-First” would be like a reference where the mobile version is being considered the primary version of the website. So if you have both mobile and desktop versions equivalent – if you have optimized your contents for mobile for an instance, and if you are using responsive design – then these changes will have a bigger impact on your site’s performance. Cannot put in search results. But this will definitely represent how Google is thinking about your website content and how to prioritize crawling and indexation more.

Remember that until now the desktop site was considered the primary version (similar to a canonical URL) and the mobile site was seen as an ” alternate ” version in case of a site. So Google is encouraging webmasters more for a separate mobile site ( so that they can implement switchboard tags (this represents the existence of the mobile URL version using a special rel = alternate tag ). Of Google may no longer crawl and cache the mobile version of your pages, but now directly display the mobile URL in mobile searchers.

The reason behind making the desktop version the primary one is that it allows the desktop site to be prioritized by SEOs and by marketing teams. Also, it used to treat the website as a comprehensive version, which used to have full content, structured data markup, hreflang (international tags), majority of backlinks, etc. While the mobile version contains lighter content, and the same level of markup and structure can be done in it, but a large number of backlinks and external attention cannot be found in it.

Why was Mobile-First Indexing brought?

The announcement of Mobile-First indexing was made by Google. This will change our content creation and its optimization in the coming times. This will also change the approach of using these contents.

But finally, the biggest question is what is this and why was it brought up?

A simple brief description is that, before Google indexes the desktop versions of a website, or before evaluating and ranking it according to relevance, they will index its mobile site first. Why?

This is because according to Google (and according to many other studies as well), mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in Google.

As we know that the entire business and foundation of Google has stood on a simple principle that: Users should be provided with accurate and accurate information as soon as possible. For example, when you are searching for something like “which birds are found in India only,” then the search engine should provide you all the information in a well curated form that too quickly.

This means perfectly optimized images, with fast page speed, and such formatting of text so that the user does not have any problem while reading it. This is why Google wants the content to be displayed fast and effectively. To fulfill this demand, Google cannot index only desktop sites where the majority comes from traffic mobile. This will make the user experience very bad with search engines and they have to be forced to search for other search engines, which Google will never want.

“Even if our search index can single index any websites and apps, but still our algorithms will give importance to the mobile version of a website for ranking of the site, to understand the structured data in it. , And snippets from those pages will show in search results. 

To do all this Google is constantly making developments in its SERPs. With this, Google is making its entire platform more user friendly.

But isn’t this the change that is called “mobile indexing”? Because Google is not solely switching to mobile indexing. This means that it is only “Mobile-First” Indexing. Meaning that as a blogger, you do not need to completely scrapping or slacking the desktop version of your site.

You will further learn about the true meaning of Mobile-First Indexing change.

You should take special care of the mobile version of your site. Because according to the current algorithm you have to optimize your site mobile for more organic visits. But there is also a good news that not all people need to change their sites too much. Some will not have to make any changes in the site because their site is completely fine. It depends on the current architecture of your site , maybe your site is right in this aspect.

So, next we will know how to do mobile-first indexing of your site.

What to do for Mobile-First Indexing?

The first thing you should understand is that you do not need to panic at all. This is because these changes are still in their initial stages, thus saying that in the testing phase. Gradually, it will only target these websites which Google thinks they are ready to accept this change. But even then it will not put too much impact. You have to start with as little and minimal impact as possible.

If your website is responsive or otherwise identical in desktop and mobile versions, then there is no need for you to do anything else or other way (in this I am assuming that you are happy with your current current rankings Huh).


With this, even if your site is a fully responsive site, still you have to pay attention to whether your mobile page speed and loading time is right or not. It has to be more prioritized. Apart from this, images and other dynamic elements will also have to be optimized properly for better mobile experience. Note that in Mobile-First Indexing , the content that has been collapsed or hidden in the tabs etc. will not be treated separately due to space limitations (compared to the visible content which has already happened), such So because this type of screen real estate management is actually considered a better mobile practice.

If you have a separate mobile site, then you must check the below mentioned things:

  • Content: Note that your mobile version should also have high-quality, valuable content, which are already popular in your desktop site. This includes all text, videos and images. Note that the formats used in the mobile version are crawlable and indexable (such as alt-attributes used in images).
  • Structured data: You should use the same structured data markup in both mobile and desktop versions of your site. URLs that are shown in mobile pages within structured data, it must be the mobile version of that URL. Also, do not add unnecessary structured data if it does not have any relevance to the specific content of your page.
  • Metadata: Keep in mind that both titles and meta descriptions should be equivalent in all pages of both versions.

Note: – Official according to guidance rather than “equivalent” of “identical” has been more important – for you may wish to make your mobile titles and more optimize shorter character counts, but it’s taking care of that Be sure to include the same information and relevant keywords.

  • Hreflang: If you are using rel = hreflang for internationalization, then your mobile URLs’ hreflang annotations should always point towards the mobile version or language variants of your country and, along with the desktop URLs, should also point towards desktop versions.
    Note hreflang attribute always specifies the language of the linked document. This attribute is used only when the href attribute is set.
  • Social metadata: OpenGraph tags, Twitter cards and other social metadata must be included in both the mobile version and desktop version.
  • XML and media sitemaps: Ensure that all links to sitemaps are accessible from the mobile version of the site. It also applies to robots directives (robots.txt and on-page meta-robots tags) and links to trust signals, such as privacy policy pages.
  • Search Console verification: If you have verified only your desktop site in Google Search Console, then add the mobile version with it and verify.
  • App indexation: If you have app indexation set up for your desktop site, then you should app indexed the mobile version of your site along with the app association files.
  • Server capacity: Ensure that your host servers can handle increased crawl rate. This is applicable only for those sites in which their mobile version is in another separate host, such as
  • Switchboard tags: If you have mobile switchboard tags implemented now, then you do not need to change its implementation. Leave it as it is.
  • Take care that you have correct rel = canonical and rel = alternate link elements within mobile and desktop versions.

Mobile-Responsive vs. Mobile-Friendly

Responsive sites virtually eliminate many common mobile user experience issues such as: Pinching, zooming, squinting , and all the other annoying functions that you must have nurtured at some time while using mobile.

For example, the image that you cannot see even when you want, when you turn your mobile into landscape mode. This is a type of sign that this website is not mobile responsive.

On the other hand, in mobile-friendly sites, you can see many such issues related to common user experience. Mobile-friendly sites allow your content to be dynamically changed when you are viewing it in a mobile browser. But this does not mean that your content is responsive. This means that you cannot see the desktop version of that site in mobile. Rather you can only see a functional mobile site, in which the page elements are still going to be impacted.

In today’s time, many devices are coming in different shapes and sizes. In such a situation, making all devices mobile friendly is not an easy task, because taking care of their sizes and ratios also. Whether it is tablets, or mobile, smartphones, many such devices. In this matter, mobile-friendly is not the answer to all these.

According to Google, if your site is mobile-responsive, then you can go ahead of others in this mobile-first indexing. Congrats to those whose sites are Mobile Responsive! Because you do not have to do any extra work, only the site has to be maintained, so that your content is dynamically updated perfectly in mobile. But if you are using a mobile-friendly design, then you have to update the content in such a way that this score can be high in Mobile-First Indexing.

Mobile-First Indexing – Frequently Asked Questions:

Are mobile pages added to a separate mobile index in Mobile-First Indexing?
In Mobile-First Indexing, there is only one index (the same one now used by Google). At the same time, no new “Mobile-First” index is generated in it, nor is any separate “mobile index” created, where the “desktop index” is still active. Rather it simply changes how the content should be added to the existing index.

1. Is a Mobile-First index live and affecting my site? If not, when will it start working?

Google has just started Mobile-First Indexing as a testing project. For this, he has made some selected sites a part of this project. All these sites have been manually selected, analyzing their sites and looking at their site structure, that too for some specific keywords only.
But in the coming few years, mobile-first indexing will be given more importance. Therefore, Google has announced to all web-masters that make their sites mobile optimized as soon as possible so that they will be benefited in the coming time.

2. Will Google only use my mobile site to determine my site’s rankings?

Mobile-First means that the mobile version of the site will be considered the primary version when it comes to finding the rankings of the sites. But there are some circumstances where desktop version is also considered, for example if your site does not have a mobile version.
That’s why you are going to see quite different results in Google ranking regarding mobile search results and desktop search results. Whereas Google used to pay attention to desktop search results for ranking, right now it is pushing mobile search results.

3. Will Google and desktop site not pay much attention to ranking?

It is not a matter of whether Google will pay attention to the desktop site or not, but it is clear that the mobile site will be given more attention than the desktop site. I think they will give them preference according to traffic. It means to say that if traffic is coming from mobile then the mobile version will be given importance whereas if the desktop is coming from computer then more attention will be paid to the desktop site. Ranking will also be decided accordingly.

4. What if my site does not have a mobile version?

If you do not have a mobile version of your site and your desktop version is not too mobile-friendly then your content will be indexed, but they will not be ranked much better than other mobile-friendly websites. These will make a negative impact in the authority of your site and in its overall ranking. Which is not at all a good thing for your site.

5. How is Google’s new change ranking factors and strategy going to do in the future?

These are going to affect many ranking factors and strategy in future. According to Researchers, Mobile-First Indexing is a type of indication that Google will now rely less on traditional links and HTML URLs for ranking. That is to say that Google is now thinking of moving away from the URL system and API type approaches which are based on “entities” (ie structured data) are giving more importance to them.

6. Is there any difference in how responsive sites and separate mobile sites will be treated?

Yes and also no. The main reason in this is that how much more work you have to do to be ready for this change. It means to say that if you have a fully responsive site, then you should have everything already present in your mobile version which is now only in the desktop version, as well as your main challenge should be that your mobile experience Well optimize from all user perspective (eg page speed, load time, navigation, etc.). At the same time in a separate mobile site, you have to make sure that your mobile version should also contain all the things that should be in your desktop site, which can take a lot of time to implement, responsive to implement correctly. In comparison to the site.

7. Will my ads / content / etc from this update. Will the attitude to serve in your mobile site change?

If your current approach shows any change in ads, such as slowing of ads or poor user experience, then you must pay special attention to this thing. If you want to hide some of your mobile site content to save space in your site, then this is not really an issue because even here the content is treated according to the same article as that page. When fully loaded is visible, it is possible as long as the content is crawlable or accessible.

What is the future of Mobile-First Indexing?

Mobile traffic is the highest traffic on the Internet in times to come. It will not come or has come and is going to stay for a long time. Since now almost all the users are preferring to consume data in mobile. In such a situation, with the help of Mobile-First Indexing, those sites are appearing more in search results, which are providing better experience to the users.

If someone’s website is not more responsive, fast, then in the coming time you can see a big decline on their rankings. Therefore all new old webmasters should follow all the conditions of Mobile-First Indexing for their site. That’s why it is better that you make your site better than others in this Mobile-First Indexing, which will be very useful in the coming time.


I hope I told you what is Mobile-First Indexing? Gave full information about and I hope you guys have understood about what is Mobile-First Indexing. If you have any doubts about this article or you want that there should be some improvement in it, then for this you can write down comments. With these ideas, you will get a chance to learn something and improve something. If you liked my post What is Mobile-First Indexing or you have got something to learn then please share this post on social networks such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, etc. to show your happiness and excitement. Do it

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Naeem Ur Rehman

Pakistan's youngest blogger and the CEO of He is currently the student of BS Environmental Sciences at University of the Punjab, Lahore. He is also working as a senior advisor to, Mukaalma, and Pylon TV.

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