I am hearing reports from SEOs that Google did another batch switchover from desktop-first indexing to mobile-first indexing for many sites. As you know, Google started the mobile-first indexing over six years ago but told us earlier this month that the process might be done in the coming months.
Update: John Mueller of Google has later confirmed this is indeed the last batch. He added to my story on Mastodon, “Last batch! Tiny handful of sites that really don’t work on mobile are left, they’ll just be crawled with desktop Googlebot going forward.”
I am told there are still some sites still on desktop-first indexing but we did have a massive push today of sites being moved from desktop-first indexing to mobile-first indexing today, May 22nd/May 21st. John later confirmed Google is done, this was the last batch.
Here is what the notification looks like in Google Search Console, if you want to login to see if your desktop-first indexing site was moved today:
Kenichi Suzuki noticed a batch being moved this morning and posted it on Twitter:
— Kenichi Suzuki🇺🇦鈴木謙一 (@suzukik) May 22, 2023
Richard Hearne also noticed this and posted about it on Twitter this morning:
Looks like Google is moving the lingering Desktop-index websites over to Mobile First Indexing. This site has >10M pages, and *was* using a very atypical technique to vary traffic based on UA back when MFI was introed. Today it finally got migrated to MFI: pic.twitter.com/ht8tS4QRGY
— Richard Hearne (@RedCardinal) May 22, 2023
Pedro Dias as well noticed:
Is anyone else noticing a Google rolling a big push to MFI?
— Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) May 22, 2023
Pedro said some of the largest sites were moved over today.
Glenn Gabe also noticed this but with the May 21st date (different time zone?):
For example, the first screenshot is a site that just got moved on 5/21 to m-first indexing (finally). They have been waiting a very long time. But the second screenshot is a site STILL on desktop-first indexing. So Google isn’t done yet. Hard to believe, but true. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/kcbaIRUYP0
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 22, 2023
In November 2022, John said the last batch of mobile-indexing is coming soon. Before that, he said that the last batch would be in July 2022 but then in August said they were not done. As a reminder, Google started its mobile-first indexing initiative over six years ago, in November 2016. But we still have sites that are being migrated over from Google desktop-first indexing to mobile-first indexing at the end of 2022.
Yes, last November, Google removed any deadline they had for the mandatory mobile-first indexing switchover. As a reminder, in May 2021, we reported that mobile first indexing switch was not done yet and then in March we reported that Google was going to migrate over the last batch of sites to mobile first indexing soon. This was after moving the mobile-first indexing deadline from September 2020 to March 2021.
As I said above, earlier this month, John Mueller of Google said that the process might be done in the coming months. And this is the end of these batches.
John Mueller added that the reason those last sites will never move over is because they just don’t access Google’s mobile user agent. He wrote, “The problem-sites are those that don’t work with mobile user-agents at all, where it’s basically a decision about whether we can index anything or not. A desktop-formatted site (that can be seen on mobile) is not problematic for indexing.”
The problem-sites are those that don’t work with mobile user-agents at all, where it’s basically a decision about whether we can index anything or not. A desktop-formatted site (that can be seen on mobile) is not problematic for indexing.
— John Mueller (official) — #StaplerLife · #Is (@JohnMu) May 22, 2023
Forum discussion at Twitter.