The other day we reported that Google confirmed they are testing the mobile first index in the wild. But we didn't know the details on how often, when and how to tell when that mobile first index was being tested. In fact, many of the Google tracking tools may be taking notice of these tests.Well, Gary Illyes from Google explained at State of Search yesterday that if you are running a m-dot site, you can tell if the search results snippets on the desktop results show the m-dot version of the title tag and meta description. That is of course, if the title tag and meta descriptions are different between your m-dot version and the desktop version. Of course, in hindsight, that is an obvious way to see the test in the wild, but I didn't think of it.Here are tweets covering it:I don't personally have any m-dot sites to test on but I guess some savvy tool maker can set up tests to track m-dot domains and see when this switch over happens. And then share screen shots of the search … [Read more...] about How To Tell If Google Is Testing The Mobile First Index
mobile first index
So we know Google is testing that mobile first index and that the rollout will be done in batches and now John Mueller has explained how they think they might roll this mobile first index out.First, it is likely that based on those classifiers, which we mentioned here, that Google will roll out the first batch to pages that are equivalent between desktop and mobile. Then, Google will likely begin some level of communication, be it via blog posts, direct communication and/or Google Search Console notifications for those who have issues.Google may classify a percentage of the web pages on the internet as having issue X, when it comes to this roll out and notify them all via Search Console with steps they can take to resolve the issue. Then the same with issue Y and Z. As Google is able to classify more and more issues, they can aid more and more webmasters on how to fix these issues so the rollout has quality neutral release.Here is the video embed where John talks about the plans … [Read more...] about Google May Message Webmasters With Mobile First Indexing Issues
Google's John Mueller confirmed yesterday in a hangout at the 15:38 mark that Google is indeed testing the mobile first index in the live search results. He did not explain what percentage of searchers are seeing these live test results but I have to imagine it is really small. With this test, Google is not only looking to see how much it impacts the searchers and current rankings but they are also building new classifiers for debugging purposes.John explained that these internal classifiers are designed to label which sites have equivalent desktop to mobile pages and which do not. This way they can see if there are any common problems they are noticing across the live web where they can communicate to webmasters what changes they need to make. These forms of communication can be done via blog posts, direct communication from Google, Search Console messages and other means.John Mueller would not give a date on the release but he did say they are testing things. Here is part of the … [Read more...] about Google Testing Mobile First Index In The Wild
Gary Illyes may have been misunderstood or may have misspoke at the Brighton SEO conference a few weeks ago when people said he said that when the mobile first index rolls out, Google will index the AMP URL when there is no mobile version of the site but there is an AMP and desktop version. Of course, we all know the chances of there being AMP and no mobile URL is rare but in that case, Google will not index the AMP version, they will index the mobile version.John Mueller confirmed this in a hangout yesterday at the 32:31 mark saying that Google will index the desktop version if the AMP version is not set as your mobile version using the rel alternate set up for mobile. So if you have desktop, AMP and no mobile - Google by default will index your desktop version of your site.Google said this before about a year ago but there was some confusion around this the other week out of that conference.Here is the video embed at the start time of when John said this:Question: You said … [Read more...] about Google: Got AMP & Desktop But No Mobile Page? Google Will Index The Desktop Page.
I asked John Mueller of Google yesterday in a Google webmaster hangout at the 23:18 mark into the video how things are going with the mobile first index and if they have any updates for us all. John Mueller first said he didn't have "any big updates" to share with us but did add that "things are looking pretty good" and he hopes now that it will be a "smooth transition for most sites" when it does launch. He said earlier he was a bit "crazy" about the whole thing and I guess he was nervous about how sites will transition. But as the Google team does more "various types of evaluations to kind of double check the classifiers" they are becoming more and more confident of the switch.There is still no timeline but this is what John said when I asked him for an update:I don’t have any big updates there at the moment. So the team is currently still doing various types of evaluations to kind of double check the classifiers that we have and make sure we can recognize when a site is … [Read more...] about Google: Things Looking Good For Mobile First Index
Back in November of last year, Gary Illyes from Google said content hidden in tabs is okay in the mobile-first world. Well, John Mueller of Google also confirmed that today in a YouTube hangout at the 43 second mark and then again at the 35:29 mark into the video.John said at the 35 minute mark:So with the mobile first indexing will index the the mobile version of the page. And on the mobile version of the page it can be that you have these kind of tabs and folders and things like that, which we will still treat as normal content on the page even. Even if it is hidden on the initial view. In short, when the mobile first index rolls out, which won't be for some time, content in tabs or hidden for user experience purposes, will rank just as well as content in plain view of the user.Currently, content hidden in tabs do not rank as well in the desktop first index world. But that will all change with the mobile-first index said both Gary Illyes and John Mueller of Google.Here are the … [Read more...] about Google Confirmed Again: Content Hidden In Tabs With Mobile-First Index Is Okay
John Mueller of Google said the other day on a Google hangout on YouTube at the 25:16 mark that if you do plan on migrating from an m-dot (i.e. http://m.domain.com) to a responsive mobile friendly design, then it is best to do it before the mobile first index launches. There is no rush, we got time but he did say the move would be way easier now than later.Why, well, Google indexes your desktop site, so moving an m-dot doesn't do much to the current index because Google doesn't really fully index your m-dot. When Google does go mobile-first, then they will index it and then a migration like this would be like a full site migration that can take months to process.Hat tip:The Question:How to handle a migration from an m-dot site to a response site. The Answer:This is something where, essentially at the moment, it is fairly easy to do in the sense that you just redirect from the m-dot version to the main responsive version. And if you are just redirecting your mobile pages then that is … [Read more...] about Google: Plan On Moving From M-Dot To Responsive? Do It Before Google’s Mobile First Index.
It was a busy month with lots of nuggets, the biggest news was Google's beginning of their mobile first index. We also saw an unconfirmed Google update on November 10th and maybe a reversal a week later. Google updated their featured snippets algorithm and potentially their top stories algorithm as well.We had tons of Google Search Console changes, see the list below. We had also a ton of SEO tidbits we covered, see below. Let's not forget all the user interface changes, including a new desktop search interface which I think is now rolling out but I can be wrong.The ongoing WebmasterWorld thread has the typical chatter - nothing too crazy right now. And if you missed last month, catch up over here.Here is my recap:Google Algorithms: Google Launches Mobile-First Index Experiment: Here Is Everything We Know About It. Was There A Google Search Update On November 10th? Google Update Reversed November 10th Update On November 18th Google: Nothing To Announce For … [Read more...] about December 2016 Google Webmaster Report