During a hangout, one SEO professional asked John Mueller about mobile-first indexing and how it could potentially help with a site’s ranking.
Their main question was: does mobile-first indexing help you with search rankings? Their website is still being crawled on Googlebot desktop, and they cannot figure out why it isn’t switching to mobile.
They have been through the Google documentation and troubleshooting, but nothing jumps out to them as needing to be fixed.
They also asked if moving across to a progressive web app and offline support would help this issue.
John explained that mobile-first indexing does not change anything for ranking. So it’s not the case that you need to force any kind of a move to mobile-first indexing. This is purely a matter of indexing and picking out the content that Google would use on a website.
From that perspective, John would not worry about this.
If their site works fine on mobile, then at some point, it will be switched over. He believes there are still some sites left, which they haven’t switched over to mobile-first indexing yet.
For the most part, however, Google has switched most sites over, and for those that are remaining, they do continue to double-check them to make sure they are ready.
And when Google thinks they are ready, they will just switch them over. But, it’s not the case that you would notice any ranking change there, unless the mobile version is significantly different from the desktop version.
And that would also be a reason for them to not switch a site over to mobile-first indexing.
If the mobile version is significantly different and they did use mobile first-indexing for their site, then Google would just index their content based on the mobile version.
If there is more content on a desktop version, then they would just ignore that. Also, from that point of view, John would not try and force this.
Moving to a progressive web app is something that can be done, but John does not think this would impact how mobile-first indexing examines a website.
This happens at approximately the 46:35 mark in the video.