Google’s mobile-first index is (still) months away

At SMX West, Google’s Gary Illyes said the company is still experimenting with its mobile-first index and doesn’t have an exact timeline for launch.

Don’t freak out. That’s what Google’s Gary Illyes repeated this week — at least three times — to SEOs and webmasters who might be concerned about the upcoming switch to a mobile-first index.

“The team behind the mobile-first index wants it to launch this year,” Illyes told our SMX West conference on Wednesday. “We’re still experimenting. We don’t have a timeline. It could be a few months or quarters, but it’s definitely not weeks [away]. Don’t freak out, especially if you have a responsive site.”

Illyes first revealed plans to create a separate mobile-first index back in October and said at the time that it was “months away” from becoming reality. Five months later, that’s still the case.

The change is prompted by the fact that, since 2015, more than half of all Google searches are happening on mobile devices. When the change happens, Google will use the mobile version of web content as its primary index and rank results based on that mobile content, even for desktop searchers.

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