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Google Will Stop Indexing Sites That Don’t Work on Mobile From July 5

June 4, 2024

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Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, announces Google will stop indexing and ranking websites that are not accessible on mobile devices.

Many people believed that Google fully implemented its mobile-first indexing initiative (which began in 2016) last October, but now the completion date is after July 5. 

Google Search Central notification

Google’s John Mueller, on the Google Search Central blog, wrote:

  • “We’re embarking on our last step of our immigration to a mobile-first index for Google Search.”
  • “The small set of sites we’ve still been crawling with desktop Googlebot will be crawled with mobile Googlebot after July 5, 2024.” 
  • “Don’t worry, most sites don’t need to do anything.”
  • “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.”


The Google Search blog notification in full: 

The critical points for site owners 

  • Mobile accessibility: Google will only index sites accessible on mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-accessible, it won’t rank. 
  • Desktop templates: Websites using desktop-only templates that do load on mobile devices are acceptable. 
  • Desktop crawling: Googlebot Desktop crawler will continue for purposes like Google for Jobs and product listings, so your site may continue to appear in reporting tools and server logs.

Google mobile accessibility change 

It’s been almost eight years coming, so site owners had ample time to ensure their content is mobile accessible.

That said, sites that don’t render on mobile now face not being indexed, meaning Google will no longer rank them. 

Mueller confirmed the update:

  • “If your site’s content is not accessible at all with a mobile device, it will no longer be indexable.”

Desktop templates can be indexed

However, all’s not lost for desktop template-only sites!

Google’s update states it won’t index sites that don’t load on mobile devices, but desktop templates that do load should be OK, meaning Google will index and rank them.    

Why Google is using only Googlebot Smartphone

Google’s latest change (albeit eight years in the making) simplifies its systems so sites can easily debug specific device type-related issues. 

As Smartphone crawler already crawls most of the web, the aim is to standardize the process.

The implications

Mueller emphasized that the change won’t affect most site owners. 

Nevertheless, as Google won’t crawl or index sites that aren’t accessible on mobile devices starting tomorrow (July 5, 2024), SEO professionals must ensure their and any client’s sites load on iPhone and Android devices.

You can test and verify a site’s mobile accessibility using the Google Search Console URL Inspection tool.

Terry O'Toole

Terry O'Toole

Terry is a seasoned content marketing specialist with over six years of experience writing content that helps small businesses navigate where small businesses meet marketing - SEO, Social Media Marketing, etc. Terry has a proven track record of creating top-performing content in search results. When he is not writing content, Terry can be found on his boat in Italy or chilling in his villa in Spain.

SEO Power Plays

Read by 10,000+ world-class SEOs, CEOs, Founders, & Marketers. Strategy breakdown: monday.com's 77% traffic boost 🚀 + Industry news and expert tidbits every Wednesday 🔍 + in-depth SEO strategy tips every Sunday ✨