Website not accessible on mobile devices? Google will ban it from search

Alliance  ·  June 05

Starting July 5, 2024, Google will no longer index websites that are not accessible on mobile devices. John Mueller from Google clarified this update, stating, “If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable.”

To break it down:

  • Total Inaccessibility on Mobile: If your website doesn’t load at all on mobile phones (like Android devices), Google won’t index it.
  • Mobile-Friendliness Not Required: If your site is not mobile-friendly but still loads on a mobile device, it will still be indexed. Google will continue to index desktop versions of websites as long as they are accessible on mobile devices.

Google refers to this change as the “final last step” in their migration to a mobile-first index, which started over seven years ago. Although they announced the completion of mobile-first indexing last October, this latest update seems to be the final touch.

Mueller added, “The small set of sites we’ve still been crawling with desktop Googlebot will be crawled with mobile Googlebot after July 5, 2024.”

He explained further:

“As we mentioned in our last update on mobile indexing, Google crawls and indexes almost all websites using a smartphone crawler. Over the years, the number of sites that aren’t accessible on mobile has continued to shrink. To simplify our systems and to make it easier for sites to debug issues related to device types, we’ll soon crawl all sites for Search with the Googlebot Smartphone crawler. 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.”

In summary, ensure your website loads on mobile devices before July 5, 2024, or it risks not being indexed by Google.