Google Search Console will now use data from its new mobile-first index in coverage reports and has started notifying webmasters that a range of old reports will be removed entirely in the near future as part of a refresh for the no-charge web service.
The updated index coverage reports are now more likely to serve up relevant insights for brands looking to optimise their content and improve mobile-readiness. Previously, Google had used indexing data from the desktop, and it said on Tuesday that the changes will affect “properties that have been migrated to the mobile first indexing”.
The switch from desktop to mobile indexing is still ongoing as the latter only launched earlier this year. Webmasters with properties that have already made the move will have received a notification from Google. The search giant added that desktop indexing data is still being used in reports for those who have yet to get a notification about their site changing over.
The new index coverage report will be available for webmasters from the beginning of this week, but Google was eager to stress that any new errors flagged in these reports may be related to the switchover and only impact the index coverage report. Brands will not see any negative impact on their search engine rankings.
A new design for image previews in search may also be on the horizon after a new design and interface was spotted in Chrome on Tuesday. Google has yet to confirm whether the update is just a part of testing or a prelude to a full global rollout.