Google Warns: Sites That Are Inaccessible On Mobile Will Not Be Indexed

Google Warns: Sites That Are Inaccessible On Mobile Will Not Be Indexed

Google Desktop Indexing Dead

Google said it will not index sites that are not accessible on mobile devices after July 5, 2024. “If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable,” John Mueller wrote.

To be 100% clear, this means that if your site won’t load at all on a mobile phone, like an Android phone, then Google won’t index it. It does not mean if your site is not mobile-friendly, that Google won’t index it – Google will. Google will index desktop interfaces of sites, as long as the desktop interface loads on an Android mobile phone.

There is a ton of confusion on the internet right now about this. SEOs are saying sites that are not mobile-friendly will not be indexed. That is NOT true.

Google called this “final last step” of the migration to a mobile-first index for Google Search. Google started the Google mobile first index seven and a half years ago. Google said last October mobile first indexing was done but I guess it really wasn’t – until maybe now?

John wrote, “the small set of sites we’ve still been crawling with desktop Googlebot will be crawled with mobile Googlebot after July 5, 2024.”

He added:

As we mentioned in our last update on mobile indexing, Google crawls and indexes almost all websites using a smartphone crawler. Over the years, the number of sites that aren’t accessible on mobile has continued to shrink. To simplify our systems, and to make it easier for sites to debug issues related to device types, we’ll soon crawl all sites for Search with the Googlebot Smartphone crawler.

The largest part of the web is already being crawled like this, and there is no change in crawling for these sites. After July 5, 2024, we’ll crawl and index these sites with only Googlebot Smartphone. If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable.

But is the transition to mobile-first indexing fully done? Nope. Google said they still will “sometimes” crawl using Googlebot Desktop when crawling for product listings and Google for Jobs. Google wrote, “You may still find Googlebot Desktop in your server logs and reporting. For example, among a few other Search features, Googlebot Desktop is sometimes used when crawling for product listings and Google for Jobs.”

So we are almost done.

The take away is that if you know of a site that does not load at all on a mobile device, that site likely won’t be indexed by Google after July 5, 2024.

So if you don’t want mobile devices on your site and you block those users, you are out of luck…

Forum discussion at X.


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