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Google Mobile-First Indexing and Scoring of Sites with Mobile and AMP Versions

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Google’s Senior Webmaster Analyst, John Mueller made an address in a webmaster hangout about how google will cope with multi-platform sites in the mobile-first index. Mueller also addressed how to rank and rate vital platform factors for pages that have both mobile and an AMP version.

Web Vitals will be the ranking criteria in 2021, and it is crucial to learn which version of the website Google will use for indexing and user interface.

During the webmaster hangout, the publisher asked about the different versions of a website and its best practices to show its visitors.

Mobile Version Preferred for Indexing

Mueller began by stating that Google will use the mobile version of the website for indexing if both the mobile version and the AMP version co-exist. In case there is a mobile version existing then Google won’t use the AMP version of the website

This is what Mueller said

“With regards to AMP and mobile and desktop, we treat AMP pages as being alternates by default. So we wouldn’t use the AMP pages for indexing.”

When Google Might Use AMP For Indexing

Mueller said that AMP versions of websites would be used by Google for indexing where no mobile version of a website is available and only an AMP Version.

“There are certainly ways that you can set up a website so that the AMP page is your mobile page and you have an alternate desktop page where you just have a desktop version and the AMP version.

And in a case like that, we would see the AMP page as being a normal mobile page and we will just index that normally.”

Google on Web Vitals Ranking Factor Scoring

Mueller explained how Google would score the Web Vitals ranking factor when there is a mobile and AMP version of the website.

Here’s how Mueller explained it

“The other thing that kind of plays into this complex scenario of mobile, desktop and AMP is that when it comes to the page experience score, kind of the Core Web Vitals, where we’re testing the speed and stability and usability of a web page, we will test the version that users end up seeing.

 

So that means we would test the AMP version with regards to speed, the quality and usability.

 

From that point of view we would not test the mobile version for that.

 

So that’s something where in this situation with mobile first indexing, we would index the mobile version. We would use the AMP version with regards to testing usability and speed. And we would show the desktop version in the search results as an alternate URL when people on desktop are searching.”

Google on Handling Sites in Mobile-First Index

There are a lot of websites which have three versions, i.e. AMP, Mobile and Desktop. The websites which are created with both mobile and AMP versions will have their AMP versions used to score Web Vitals, and mobile versions crawled for indexing. 

Google would also use the AMP version for the user interface ranking factors defined by the site’s vital metrics. Also an alternative URL for desktop devices, users will be shown for the desktop version. 

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