Google Warns: Sites That Don’t Work on Mobile Will Not Be Indexed (Infographic)


Mobile search has been the trend for many years now. It was in 2016 when global mobile internet usage exceeded desktops for the first time. Google recognizes this development and adapted to this change by incentivizing websites optimized for mobiles.

However, the search giant is now making a significant move in prioritizing mobile accessibility in websites. Before, sites not optimized for mobile only had less chance of ranking high on search engine results pages. Now, web pages without mobile versions will no longer be indexed by Google. 

This is Google’s final step in implementing mobile-first indexing on the platform. Google announced that if a website is not accessible on mobiles by July 5, 2024, it will no longer be indexable. 

Google Warns: Sites That Don't Work on Mobile Will Not Be Indexed infographic

Understanding Google’s Mobile-First Indexing

A website can have a mobile and desktop version.

  • The desktop version is suitable for larger screens, such as those on laptops, large tablets, and desktops. 
  • The mobile version is tailored to be viewed on smartphones and smaller tablets. It features a responsive design that can adjust to various screen sizes and orientations. 

Your web development outsourcing in Philippines may create two site versions because they need to accommodate the unique needs of users across different devices. 

For example, mobile devices use touchscreens, whereas desktops use mice or touchpads. Navigation elements like menus, buttons, and links need to be adapted for each input method to ensure ease of use and functionality.

Mobile-first indexing is a change in Google, where it will now predominantly use a website’s mobile version for crawling and indexing search results. When Google’s search engine crawls or visits your website to understand its content, it looks at the mobile version of your site first.

Google wants to ensure a good experience on mobile devices since that’s how most users use the internet today. 

Before the launch of mobile-first indexing, Google primarily used the desktop version of a site’s content for indexing and ranking. However, with the rise of mobile browsing, Google now focuses on mobile versions. 

Mobile-First Indexing Timeline

2015 Mobilegeddon Update: Google announced that mobile-friendliness would become a ranking signal. With this update, webmasters were encouraged to create mobile-friendly sites. 

2016 Introduction of Mobile Mobile-First Indexing: Google officially announced the transition to mobile-first indexing. 

2018 Full Implementation: Google began rolling out mobile-first indexing, gradually applying it to sites that adhere to mobile optimization best practices.

2021 Final Deadline: Google extended the deadline from September 2020 to March 2021 to give webmasters more time to adapt and optimize their sites.

Final Migration to Mobile-First Indexing

Google recently announced that the platform is in its final stage of migrating to mobile-first indexing. Google now crawls a large part of the web using the Googlebot smartphone crawler. If your site is not accessible for mobiles by Jul 5, 2024, it will no longer be part of the search index. 

However, “accessible on mobile” does not equal “not optimized.” This means that even though a website is not mobile optimized, it will still be a part of the search index as long as mobile users can use it. 

But this does not mean you do not need to optimize your site for mobile devices. Remember that Google puts great importance on user experience. If your site’s mobile version is slow and malfunctions, this could hurt your ranking signals and affect your Google visibility.

Qualities of a Mobile-Optimized Website

Optimizing your site for mobile phones requires an understanding of what makes a mobile-friendly platform. Here are the top qualities of a mobile-optimized website:

  • Responsive Design: The website adjusts automatically to fit different screen sizes. It helps ensure your content is readable and navigable without zooming or horizontal scrolling.
  • Fast Load Times: Pages load quickly on mobile networks through minimized file sizes, efficient coding, and optimized images and scripts.
  • Easy Navigation: The site has an intuitive navigation with a clear hierarchy of menus. Buttons and input fields are easy to click on a small screen.
  • Readable Content: Font sizes are appropriately scaled for mobile viewing. Properly uses whitespace and line spacing to improve readability and reduce visual clutter.
  • Mobile-Optimized Media: Images are compressed for faster loading times without compromising quality.
  • Touch-Friendly Elements: Buttons, links, and form fields are sufficiently sized and spaced to be easily tapped with a finger.
  • Cross-Device Compatibility: Ensures basic usability across all devices while offering enhanced features on capable devices. 

Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing reflects its commitment to adapting to user trends and providing the best possible search results for users. If your goal is to rank and be visible on Google, you should be adapting best practices for mobile-first indexing.

Impact of Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-first indexing has a significant impact on how Google crawls and indexes websites. It also affects marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO). Marketers need to understand these impacts so they can adjust their strategies accordingly.

1. Crawling and Indexing Priorities

Mobile content is now the primary focus for indexing and ranking purposes. 

Websites that are well-optimized for mobile devices have better chances of getting first-page positions in search results. Conversely, websites that are not mobile-friendly may experience a drop in rankings.

2. SEO Implications

Mobile-first indexing encourages webmasters to prioritize mobile usability and performance to maintain or improve SEO performance. As a result, SEO strategies will need to prioritize mobile optimization. This includes 

  • improving page speed 
  • implementing responsive design
  • optimizing images
  • ensuring that all content is accessible on mobile devices

Website owners and your chosen SEO agency Philippines also need to ensure that their technical SEO elements, such as structured data, metadata, and sitemaps, are correctly implemented on their site’s mobile version.

3. Industry and Business Impact

Businesses that prioritize mobile optimization gain a competitive edge in search engine rankings. They are better positioned to attract and retain smartphone users, who constitute a significant portion of internet traffic.

5. Content Parity

Maintaining consistency between desktop and mobile versions is crucial. Both versions should contain the same content, structured data, and metadata to ensure accurate indexing and ranking.

6. Future-Proofing and Adaptation

Mobile-first indexing reflects Google’s adaptation to the evolving digital landscape. By prioritizing mobile optimization, websites can also future-proof their SEO strategies against further shifts in user behavior and technological advancements in mobile devices.

Find Professional Support for Mobile Optimization

Making websites mobile-accessible is undeniably important, but the crucial part is leveraging this accessibility to enhance overall website performance. Recognizing this importance highlights the challenge of optimizing sites for mobile, a task that demands specialized expertise.

If you’re looking for the right marketing partner to overcome this challenge, you can find the experts you need at Digital Marketing Philippines (DMP)

As a top SEO agency Philippines, DMP offers skills, knowledge, and solutions necessary to ensure that your website not only meets accessibility but also excels in mobile search rankings. 

Contact us now at to get started on your SEO mobile strategy.


Jomer Gregorio

Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.