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A 2021 update on mobile-indexing

A 2021 update on mobile-indexing

We first started working on mobile-first indexing a number of years ago. Since then, we've switched to indexing the majority of web pages with Googlebot-Smartphone. Our existing plan was to complete mobile-first indexing by March of this year.

In the meantime, after analyzing the sites that are not yet indexed mobile-first, we've determined that some of these sites are still not ready to be shifted over due to various, unexpected challenges that they're facing. Because of these difficulties, we've decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing.

In Google Search Console, there are two ways to check for mobile-first indexing: the status is shown on the settings page and in the URL Inspection Tool. For websites that Google has already moved to mobile-first indexing, no changes are necessary. We'll continue to crawl and index your website with mobile Googlebot.

We recommend that websites which Google has not yet moved over to mobile-first indexing follow the mobile-first indexing best practices guide, also taking into account the information from our last blog post. We'll work gradually to move those remaining sites over. If a website is not verified in Search Console, we won't be able to inform it of a pending switch to mobile-first indexing.

Websites where content differs between the mobile and desktop versions can see changes when shifted over to mobile-first indexing. Websites with the same content on desktop and mobile generally won't see changes in Search. In general, this is a technical change with regards to how Google crawls and indexes the content on a website. If your website is not in mobile-first indexing, and you have resolved any issues that your site has, you don't need to take further action. Over time, as we continue to see sites become ready for mobile-first indexing, we'll start shifting these over again.

Earlier, we thought that we could complete the move to mobile-first indexing by March 2021. However, we found that some sites were facing unexpectedly difficult challenges and we wanted to accommodate their timelines. We currently don't have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction.

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