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What is Mobile-First Indexing?

Mobile-first indexing refers to Google’s initiative of prioritizing the mobile version of a site over its desktop version. 

Google crawls the internet using Googlebot. The term ‘Googlebot’ itself refers to two crawlers.

  • Googlebot Desktop: This crawls the desktop version of a webpage. 
  • Googlebot Smartphone: This crawls the mobile version of a webpage.

Googlebot Desktop did most of the crawling in the past. However, with Google’s mobile-first indexing policy, Googlebot Smartphone now does most of the crawling.

Google started experimenting with mobile indexing in 2015. However, it began indexing mobile sites in 2016 and completed the shift to mobile-first indexing on October 31, 2023. 

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