Over the past decade, there has been rapid growth in the use of mobile devices. With the widespread use of smartphones, sites receive more and more traffic from these devices. To give you an idea, currently, the number of Google searches made on mobile devices reaches just over 50% of total online searches. Therefore, it is necessary to consider mobile devices as an important source of traffic to your site. And from there came the idea of indexing on mobile devices.
But what exactly is “indexing on mobile devices”?
Mobile indexing allows Google to use the mobile version to give preference to both indexing and ranking a site. In this concept of indexing, the mobile version of the sites becomes the basis for Google to determine the ranking.
Previously, Google indexing used a desktop version of a site’s content, assessing the relevance of a page to a user’s query. But because most users now access Google via mobile devices, indexing will first use the mobile version of a site’s content.
The 8 best practices for mobile indexing
- Your mobile site must have the same content as your desktop site. If your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, consider upgrading your mobile site to ensure that your mobile content is the same as your desktop site. Content includes text, images (with alt attributes), and videos. Content must be in traceable and indexable formats.
- Data must be structured in both mobile and desktop versions of the site. The URLs of the structured data in mobile versions must be updated to the mobile URLs. Check the Data Highlighter dashboard for extraction errors if you use the Data Highlighter.
- Be sure to include metadata in both versions of the site. Create equivalent titles and meta descriptions in all versions.
- Check both versions in the Search Console to confirm your access to data and messages in both versions.
- Make separate links to the mobile and desktop versions of the URL using rel=hreflang for internationalization.
- Since there is a chance that there will be an increase in traffic, make sure that your server has enough capacity to handle the increase in the tracking rate of your site.
- Make sure that the robots.txt guidelines work as they should for both mobile and desktop versions of your site. Robots.txt files allow website owners to control parts of a website, whether it is traceable or not. Use the same guidelines for mobile and desktop versions in most cases.
- Fix rel=canonical and rel=alternate between mobile and desktop versions.
Sites with a better mobile experience are likely to be better ranked, even when accessed from a desktop.