Google drops mobile-first indexing deadline

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 29 Nov, 2021
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Timeline is now open-ended to accommodate sites experiencing "unexpected challenges".

Mobile-first indexing.

Google has acknowledged the difficulties faced by some sites in becoming ready for mobile-first indexing, and scrapped the deadline for the completion of the process. 

The original plan was to switch all sites to mobile-first indexing in September 2020. This was then delayed to March 2021 due to Covid. In their latest update last week,  Google said the timeline was now open-ended.

It said the reason for this was that some sites were still not ready to be moved across and were facing unexpected dificulties in this regard.

“After analyzing the sites that are not yet indexed mobile-first, we've determined that some of these sites are still not ready to be shifted over due to various, unexpected challenges that they're facing. Because of these difficulties, we've decided to leave the timeline open for the last steps of mobile-first indexing.”

Google is not setting a specific final date for completing mobile-first indexing, in order to accommodate the timelines of these sites.

“We currently don't have a specific final date for the move to mobile-first indexing and want to be thoughtful about the remaining bigger steps in that direction.”

What to do

You can check your site's status for mobile first indexing in Search Console, either via the settings page or the URL Inspection tool.

If your site has already been moved across, there’s nothing you need to do.

If your site hasn’t yet been moved across, Google recommends the following resources:

Google is working gradually to move the remaining sites over. If you want to receive notification of a pending switch to mobile-first indexing, your site has to be verified in Search Console.

If your site hasn’t yet been moved across to mobile-first indexing but you have resolved outstanding issues, Google says you don’t need to take further action. It will start shifting sites across again over time, as it continues to see them become ready for the move.

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