Google Announces Not Indexing Website If Not Mobile Friendly!



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With the digital space constantly evolving, Google makes it a point to keep its users updated at every step. One of the fundamental steps that the Google tech team had taken up in 2016, was updating its Mobile First Indexing Initiative. If you thought that was done and dusted in October itself, then we bring you news! In layman’s terms – “If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable.”

Does that mean your website will not be indexed, if you do not have a mobile-only template? Not really. It is just that Google is firmly adopting and adapting to a stricter Google mobile indexing format.

So, how do you get out of it? How must you upgrade your website’s response time and layout, to minimize its loading time on mobiles? We have answers to all your queries right here!

What does the Google Mobile First Index update state? 

To start with, there are some foundational points you must keep in mind – 

  • Googlebot is the tool that Google uses for website crawling.
  • Since 2016, Google has been cautiously moving towards – better mobile accessibility through its mobile indexing feature by harnessing the prowess of Googlebot Smartphone.
  • July 5, 2024, was set as the deadline wherein the websites incompatible with mobile devices (phones, or tablets) are excluded from the indexing list

Let us now brief you about the specifics – 

If you have a website that is not mobile-friendly, Google will not index it (not organize it for retrieving relevant results). This statement simply means – if your website does not render to mobile devices or load on mobiles and tablets, then Google will not index it. 

The official statement from John Mueller, as stated in the Google Blog states – “The small set of sites we’ve still been crawling with desktop Googlebot will be crawled with mobile Googlebot after July 5, 2024,…” 

Mueller further went on to state – “The largest part of the web is already being crawled like this, and there is no change in crawling for these sites.” What would rather happen is after July 5, 2024, “…we’ll crawl and index these sites with only Googlebot Smartphone.” 

So, for those with desktop-only templates, must ensure that the desktop version loads on your handphone. 

Is your website facing such an issue? It is time to resolve it ASAP before Google takes formal action. 

Where is your website losing out? 

Taking the fundamentals of the update mentioned above, if you are facing any issue, the first thing that you need to concentrate on is – pinpointing ‘exactly where’ your website is losing out. Let us give you an insight into the same – 

  1. Assuming your website is not mobile-friendly, you lose out on organic traffic. A Semrush data dated January 2024, shows – in the US alone, 63% of the searches are performed on mobiles. This shows you are missing out on that ‘traffic’ significantly. 
  2. With the mobile-first index being the advised approach – if your website does not load on mobile devices its search engine rank drops. Naturally, that leads to lower search visibility and user engagement. 

If you are already facing the above-mentioned issues, rest assured – your website is taken to be ‘non-compliant’ to the set norms. 

How to make your website more mobile-friendly? 

Assuming you are reading till here, you have gained clarity concerning the Google mobile indexing format policy and have also been able to ‘pick out’ the issues that are harming your website’s search visibility and ranking. Now let us quickly give you some tips on how to improve the ‘mobile loading’ time of your website to mark up its search visibility results – 

  1. Picking a responsive design : Opt for a responsive layout or design that adapts to various screen sizes seamlessly, thereby improving the reader’s attention span.   
  2. Enhancing website navigation process : Improve the navigation format of the website. That implies – simplifying the menus to make them suitable for smaller screens for seamless navigation and choosing mobile-friendly fonts (easy to read without zooming).
  3. Minimize pop-ups : Reduce pop-ups to heighten user experience. It is time to ditch this old practice and rather concentrate on making the clickable elements well-spaced.
  4. Optimizing using best SEO practices : Optimization is the key to success in terms of mobile indexing. From videos and images to meta tags, optimize it all using the best SEO practices. Apart from that, use URLs that are mobile-friendly and leverage browser caching significantly to enhance the speed. To address this issue, partnering with a noted digital marketing agency can be a game changer!

Apart from these tips, keeping the concept of mobile phone’s ‘one-handed navigation’ in mind, you can seek the services of Google’s Lighthouse tool to address and resolve the issues. 

Conclusive thoughts  

With the evolution of the digital world, marketing strategies are changing at a lightning-fast pace. On that note, Google has been categorically working towards boosting user experience, thereby, putting forth its regulations related to the mobile indexing initiative. July 5, was set as the deadline. For those of you who are lagging, it is time to take strict action right away.


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