[This article was originally published on March 29, 2018]
Google announced on March 26, 2018, that after 18 months of planning and experimentation, the godfather of web searches will start migrating sites that follow best practices (best SEO configuration) to mobile-first indexing.
What had been, up to now, a practice of crawling and ranking content typically used in the desktop’s version of a website’s content, which sometimes caused issues since a mobile version of a page can be quite different, will instead focus on the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking.
Best practices for dynamic serving and separate URLs (short version)
If your site has separate desktop and mobile content, which means you have a dynamic serving or separate URLs (or m-dot) site, make sure you follow the best practices below to prepare for mobile-first indexing:
- Your mobile site should contain the same content as your desktop site. If your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, you should consider updating your mobile site so that its primary content is equivalent to your desktop site. This includes text, images (with alt-attributes), and videos – in the usual crawlable and indexable formats.
- Structured data should be present on both versions of your site. Make sure URLs in the structured data on the mobile versions are updated to the mobile URLs. If you use Data Highlighter to provide structured data, regularly check the Data Highlighter dashboard for extraction errors.
- Metadata should be present on both versions of the site. Make sure that titles and meta descriptions are equivalent across both versions of your site.
For more information on this, read the Google Press Release.