Google has finally flipped the on switch for its mobile-first index after 18 months of preparations for an updated SERPs that serves up the fastest and most relevant content to users on smartphones.
Google first outlined its plans for a mobile-first index back in November 2016, when it said it had been experimenting with the use of a site’s mobile version for ranking signals. It claimed back then that the decision had been driven by the notable rise in mobile searches, which now comfortably outstrip the desktop equivalent.
Following a lengthy testing period, Google announced in April that a rollout of the mobile index was imminent, and the big day came on Monday when the search giant began sending notifications to webmasters and sites via Google Search Console saying that they are now “enabled”.
The notification also included a quick overview of how the new system will work. Google said that the desktop version of a site has traditionally been used for crawling, indexing and ranking systems, but admitted that this method can cause problems for users on mobile devices.
It added that Googlebot will now use the mobile version for everything that goes on under the hood before it creates search engine results. This means mobile users will “find what they’re looking for” in quick time and without the hassle of having to fire up a desktop focused website that is slow or unintuitive.
This is just the start for Google’s mobile index and it is sure to evolve over the coming months and years.