Mobile Pages

With importance being placed on mobile-first indexing in the search engines, ensuring a website is mobile-friendly and provides a positive experience is essential. Our SEO Office Hours Notes cover insights from Google around mobile-friendliness, along with best practice guidance to ensure your website is set up for mobile success.

Google Will Only Use Content From Mobile Pages if Mobile First

March 6, 2020 Source

Google will only use the mobile version of content when a site has been moved to mobile first. If your mobile pages have less structured data or images than your desktop pages, Google will not use the content from your desktop site. Google will continue to crawl your desktop pages about 20% of the time to make sure they are not missing any new pages.

Google Recommends a Single Site for Mobile First Indexing

March 6, 2020 Source

It’s OK to have a separate mobile website for mobile first indexing, provided it’s correctly linked from the desktop version with a mobile rel alternate and a canonical pointing to the desktop page, but Google recommends having a single URL for each piece of content with responsive design or dynamic serving in the future.

Google Determines Mobile Usability Based on The Ability to Render the Page

November 26, 2019 Source

Google determines mobile usability results based on the ability to render pages in a way that matches what a user would see on their device. Sometimes they may face issues when fetching the CSS or JavaScript files and this will display a small number of issues, with regards to mobile usability, in Google Search Console. However, John advised these are usually based on temporary fluctuations in Google’s ability to fetch individual files, but it will not affect the indexing of these pages.

Google Advises Against Using Separate Mobile URLs

October 4, 2019 Source

Having separate URLs for the mobile and desktop version of a site adds more complexity for website owners to manage, so Google recommends switching to a responsive setup.

Google Uses the Viewport Tag to Understand the Mobile-friendliness of a Page

October 4, 2019 Source

The viewport tag is used for scaling a page for devices, and Google will use this tag to understand whether the page is mobile-friendly or not. Google won’t automatically categorise a page as a mobile version if it has a viewport tag.

Implement Redirects From Mobile Pages to Desktop Pages For Desktop Users

September 3, 2019 Source

If you have a separate m-dot site, Google will usually pick this as the preferred canonical version after mobile-first indexing and the m-dot site will be shown in desktop search results. To avoid negative UX, implement redirects to the desktop version for desktop users.

Mobile-friendly Test Doesn’t Respond to Robots.txt Rules

August 9, 2019 Source

The Mobile-friendly test uses the same version of Chromium that is used for rendering so shows an accurate version of what Google will be able to index. However, the Mobile-friendly Test doesn’t follow robots.txt rules so won’t be able to show if certain JavaScript files are being blocked. Test for this in the URL Inspection Tool.

When Changing a Favicon Ensure All Pages Are Updated to Display the Change

June 14, 2019 Source

When updating a favicon for mobile search, John recommends ensuring all pages are updated and the favicon is consistent across the site, in order to display a clear signal to Google when they re-crawl the pages.

New Sites Will be on Mobile-first Indexing by Default

May 31, 2019 Source

Google is now switching to mobile-first indexing by default for new websites.

Related Topics

Dynamic Serving Mobile Interstitials Mobile-first Indexing AMP Responsive Design Separate Mobile Sites