The use of mobile devices has exploded in recent years. More people search on Google using a mobile device than ever before. Keeping this in mind, Google announced two years ago that it was working on mobile-first indexing. That essentially meant shifting over to the mobile version of a website to index its pages for search. Two years later, Google reports that it now uses mobile-first indexing for more than half of the pages shown in search results across the globe.
Back when it first announced this effort, its ranking systems were typically looking at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user and rank accordingly in search results.
This used to cause issues when the mobile page had less content than the desktop page because the company’s algorithms were not evaluating the actual content seen by users on mobile. This was before the responsive web design was common. Most site owners would normally develop a separate mobile site which would often not have the same depth of content as the desktop version.
The company said today that it now uses mobile-first indexing for over half of the pages that surface in search results globally. It has thus achieved a significant milestone in giving preference to mobile sites over desktop sites in search results.