If you work on a site, it is hopefully not any news that mobile users have led to huge changes in the way that sites are built and content rendered.   Google was so concerned about the quality of its customers’ experience on sites when on mobile that it was going to completely update its algorithm so that the mobile performance was considered the default user.  This large update was due to roll out in September 2020, but due to the events of the last few months it has now been rolled back to March 2021.

Designers and developers have a nasty habit of coming up with solutions that are very flash and fancy, sometimes they don’t work for users but more often Google struggles to find content that is contained in elements such as javascript.  (I am not getting into javascript indexable in this video) but there are some very specific mobile related things that I recommend checking as soon as you can.  Well at least so you have time to fix it by March.

Google advice is.

  1.  Mobile Version meta tags – check you have not historically  been removing the mobile version of a site using a metatag such as noindex or nofollow will need to be removed.  When the mobile first update is rolled out you could find your site being removed from google index.
  2. Lazy Loading – I personally hate lazy losing as a concept I’m more a pagination type of man.  We will add a link to lazy loading best practises but don’t lazy load primary content as the Google bot might not interact with the content in the way you expect and thus won’t discover your content.
  3. Content Within Interaction Elements – If you need to swipe, click or type to get to content don’t rely on googlebot doing this.  If in any doubt check using the fetch by google option in Google search console.
  4. Reduced Content on Mobile Versions – if you have a cut down of the content that you serve on your mobile version you might find the perceived quality of your site is reduced when Google switches over to mobile first.
  5. Video & Images – check the quality of images and video that are being used on mobile versions of sites.

We will put a link to the full release from google.

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2020/07/prepare-for-mobile-first-indexing-with.html

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/lazy-loading