To help business firms comprehend how their sites are being crawled by Googlebot, the techno giant has updated certain features of Search Console.
The methodology through which Google crawls and lists the web pages is what we call mobile-first indexing. That is, instead of evaluating the desktop version of your webpage, Google now considers the mobile version of your webpage.
In simple words, your web pages are going to be crawled and listed based on their performance on a mobile phone versus a desktop computer. And now, over 50 percent of the Google listings are being indexed via mobile-first indexing.
These updates are available for the first time as part of Google’s mobile-first indexing project so that brands can figure out which version of Googlebot is primarily crawling their site.
All the websites, previously unknown to Google, has been recorded on mobile-first indexing, in effect from the 1st of July, 2019. Older websites have not yet made a shift to the mobile-first indexing but they would be once they are ready to be moved.
As I mentioned earlier, only brand new sites that Google is completely unaware of would be recorded via mobile-first indexing by default. Other sites that have switched to mobile-first indexing would continue to be indexed via mobile-first indexing. However, older sites will continue to be listed according to the erstwhile fashion of desktop-first indexing until they are fit enough to mark their presence in the new grounds.
The new websites won’t be notified when they shit to mobile-first indexing since it is a default process. Nonetheless, the older websites would surely be notified once they make the switch.
Three New Sets of Googlebot Crawling Data
Primary Googlebot Crawler
With the primary Googlebot crawler, you can identify which version of Googlebot is crawling your site most of the time. You can find that in the settings panel.
As you see in the image above, if the primary crawler is Google Smartphone, that is a clear indication that your website has been moved to mobile-first indexing.
Intimation on Gathering Information
You would also be intimated when the primary Googlebot crawler gathers information for specific reports. And theoretically, the general primary crawler for positioning must be matched with the primary crawler for reports.
Calendar Mark of Mobile-First Indexing Change
Google also provides annotation on reports as to when a site was moved to mobile-first indexing.
So you no longer have to scratch your head as to when your site made the jump. You would have the exact date of switching in the footnotes of your reports.
Therefore, check your messages regularly to be notified when your site switches to mobile-first indexing within Google Search Console. Google also gives a signal that your site has mover over, by labeling your site as when last crawled by the Googlebot smartphone agent in the URL inspection tool.
Once you make this shift, it becomes essential to pay close attention to your structured data and alt text for images on mobile pages.
Otherwise, when you launch a new website that doesn’t work well, you will face problems in indexing and ranking in Google. Therefore, run sample tests on your site and build it in a mobile-first fashion.
For further clarifications regarding mobile-first indexing, feel free to inquire about them in the comments below.