Today, Google announced that over 50% of the pages shown in their search results across the world were indexed using their mobile-first indexing.
What does this mean?
Simply put, when you click on a Google search result you are now more likely to be visiting a page which Google crawled the mobile version of.
What Is Mobile-First Indexing?
Mobile-first indexing is how Google now crawls and indexes websites. Due to the growing number of people accessing the Internet via mobile devices, Google will look at the mobile version of your page as the primary version, rather than the desktop version.
Google’s search results are now based on how your website appears on a mobile phone, rather than a desktop computer.
How Can I Tell If My Website Has Moved To Mobile-First Indexing?
At this stage, it is important to make sure you’re using Google Search Console, as that is where you will be notified if (and when) your website has moved to mobile-first indexing. You can also double-check within Search Console by using the URL inspection tool: The results will show that your website was last crawled by the Googlebot smartphone user agent.
What Happens Next?
As a quick piece of advice, Google has also suggested that your structured data and alt-text on mobile pages are pretty darn important when it comes to mobile-first indexing. Please bear that in mind as one of your next tasks to do.
Your rankings will probably change if your desktop pages are different from your mobile pages in terms of content and structured data. Whether it’s a big or little change depends upon how different your desktop and mobile versions are and how well-optimised your mobile pages are.
The pages that were first indexed as a part of the mobile-first procedure were ones which differed vastly from the desktop version. With that being said, over half of the search results you will see are now a result of mobile-first indexing. Therefore, you should be prepared for your web pages to be moved over very soon.
It could happen at any time.