Google Won’t Index Mobile Unfriendly Websites after 5th July

Mobile Unfriendly Websites

Google Won’t Index Mobile Unfriendly Websites

Google recently announced that sites which aren’t accessible on mobile will no longer be indexed and ranked after 5 July. Google’s John Mueller said in May 2023 that the last batch switch to mobile-first indexing had completed, and the small number of sites that didn’t work with mobile would be crawled with desktop Googlebot going forward.

Mobile First Indexing
In October, Mueller said the switch to mobile-first indexing had completed and they would continue to reduce crawling with legacy desktop Googlebot as much as possible. Now a line seems to have been drawn under desktop indexing. After 5th July the small set of sites still being crawled with desktop Googlebot will be crawled with mobile Googlebot.

Most sites will not need to do anything, but if your site is not accessible on mobile then it will no longer be indexable after this date.

“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.”

Google working on how sites can recover in the next update
Google’s John Mueller has said the company is evaluating how sites which have made positive changes can improve in Search for the next update.

He was responding to a thread on X (Twitter) about the impact of the March 2024 core and the September 2023 helpful content updates. Many sites were strongly affected and have yet to recover.

Mueller acknowledged the concerns and said Google was explicitly working on how sites which had made improvements could improve in Search for the next update.

“I imagine for most sites strongly affected, the effects will be site-wide for the time being, and it will take until the next update to see similar strong effects (assuming the new state of the site is significantly better than before).”

“I can’t make any promises, but the team working on this is explictly evaluating how sites can / will improve in Search for the next update. It would be great to show more users the content that folks have worked hard on, and where sites have taken helpfulness to heart.”

Google has always said the best strategy for improving performance in Search remains making sure your site is producing original, high-quality content.

Mueller’s tweets show the company is aware of concerns about whether this will work, and fears that affected sites face a permanent demotion in the rankings.