So we know Google is testing that mobile first index and that the rollout will be done in batches and now John Mueller has explained how they think they might roll this mobile first index out.
First, it is likely that based on those classifiers, which we mentioned here, that Google will roll out the first batch to pages that are equivalent between desktop and mobile. Then, Google will likely begin some level of communication, be it via blog posts, direct communication and/or Google Search Console notifications for those who have issues.
Google may classify a percentage of the web pages on the internet as having issue X, when it comes to this roll out and notify them all via Search Console with steps they can take to resolve the issue. Then the same with issue Y and Z. As Google is able to classify more and more issues, they can aid more and more webmasters on how to fix these issues so the rollout has quality neutral release.
Here is the video embed where John talks about the plans for the rollout:
It is one of those things that we need to make sure that the changes we make actually work out well. We are creating some classifiers internally to make sure that the mobile pages are actually equivalent to the desktop pages and that sites don’t see any negative effects from that switch. And those are things we need to test with real content, we can’t just make up pages and say this is well kind of like a normal web page. We really have to see what happens when you run it with real content.
At some point there may be aspects [of the mobile first index rollout] that are more visible but like with a lot of search experiments, these are things that most people don’t notice because in an ideal world, things should just work the same.
So that is kind of what we are looking at there, looking to do it as a step by step way. Rather then just switch it on and everything breaks. To kind of do this gradually.
The idea behind this classifier is to kind of recognize common problems that we can do some blog posts around those common problems, so people are aware of what they should watch out for, what they should be fixing, what kind of issues they should be looking at.
Some of the sites that we see are particularly problematic we might contact them directly. Some of them we might send Search Console messages out to. It really kind of depends on what we see there. For that, we have to take a look at the live web to figure it out.
I am on the lookout for these messages, as they roll out and will keep you all posted.
Forum discussion at YouTube.
This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.