Google just Began Notifying Webmaster of Its Mobile-First Indexing Change

The Google mobile-first indexing initiative is underway in earnest as webmaster start receiving notifications about the change from the search engine…

Back in 2015, Google announced it would introduce a “mobile-first” index. And, it began implementing  the change in December of last year. Since that time, the search engine revealed it’s moving more sites to the mobile-first index and will use page speed load time as a ranking factor starting this July. Now, the search giant is notifying webmasters of the change.

Google Mobile-First Indexing Notifications Start going Out

Webmasters are now receiving messages with a title reading, “Mobile-first indexing enabled for…” It’s a change which Google intends to comport better with how people access the web. Mobile web browsing has recorded steady growth since 2009. Meanwhile, during that same period, desktop traffic steadily decreased. In October of 2016, the two trends intersected for the first time. Then, a month later in November 2016, mobile browsing hit  51.3 percent, compared to 48.7 percent for desktop.

Here’s the mobile-first notification is quoted directly from Google:

“This means that you may see more traffic in your logs from Googlebot Smartphone. You may also see that snippets in Google Search results are now generated from the mobile version of your content.

Background: Mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they’re looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version of your site’s content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version. Our analysis indicates that the mobile and desktop versions of your site are comparable.”

And, here’s a screenshot of the notification:

google-mobile-first-indexing-notification screenshot
Credit: Ari Finkelstein

Owen E. Richason IV

Owen is blog content writer, SEO consultant, social media marketer, and website guy. His work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, on Business.com, Tampa Bay Business and Financier, AOL and numerous other blogs and websites. is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.