Google won’t index sites that do not work on mobile devices after July 5

We thought Google’s mobile-first indexing initiative, which started in 2016, was completed last October. But it won’t really be fully done until after July 5.

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

Mueller explained:

  • “The largest part of the web is already being crawled like this, and there is no change in crawling for these sites.” However, “after July 5, 2024, we’ll crawl and index these sites with only Googlebot Smartphone.”

So if your site is not accessible using a mobile device, then Google “will no longer” index it and thus rank it.

Mobile accessibility is required for Google indexing. Yes, Mueller wrote, “If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable.”

This is a long time coming. Google has finally drawn a line in the sand for sites that simply do not render on mobile.

This doesn’t mean Google won’t index your site if it isn’t mobile-friendly. What Google is saying is that if your site simply does not render or load on mobile devices, then Google won’t index it.

If you have a desktop template only, it is fine, assuming the desktop version loads on a mobile device.

Some desktop crawling to continue. Google said that Google still sometimes uses the Googlebot Desktop crawler for product listings and for Google for Jobs. This means you may still see Googlebot Desktop in your server logs and reporting tools.

Why we care. For most of you, this probably won’t be an issue. But if someone hires you to do some SEO on their site and their site does not load on your Android phone or iPhone, then it may also not be crawled and indexed by Google after July 5. Your goal will be to ensure the site is accessible on mobile devices, and to test it using the Google Search Console URL Inspection tool, to ensure it is rendered.

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