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Google announced Wednesday that it made a “few tweaks” to Google Search Console to help webmasters and SEOs understand how Google is indexing their sites. Specifically, you’ll be able to see if and when Google switched a site to mobile-first indexing or not.

Indexing crawler details. Under settings for a property, Google can now show you which Googlebot is indexing the site, i.e. is it Googlebot Desktop or Googlebot smartphone. In addition, if it is Googlebot smartphone, Google will give you the exact date it switched from desktop to smartphone crawling. Here is a screen shot:

gsc crawler switch date

Useragent for each report. Google will also show you the useragent, i.e. Googlebot smartphone or Googlebot desktop, being used for reporting within Google Search Console’s various reports. The indicator shows up at the top right under “primary crawler.” You can see this in the screen shot below labels 1.

Chart annotations. Google will also show you within the various charts when the site was moved from desktop indexing to mobile-first indexing. You can see this indicator in the screen shot below labeled 2.

gsc mobile first indexing indicators

Why we care. This data helps SEOs, developers, publishers and webmaster clearly understand when a site was moved from desktop to mobile-first indexing. It helps us figure out any indexing or crawling issues and see if any rankings changed after the switch-over now that we can look at the exact date Google made the switch. Previously, the notifications didn’t specify the exact date a site was moved to mobile-first indexing.


About The Author

BarrySchwartz lg

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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