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Google’s John Mueller Clears Confusion About Mobile-First Index

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Google’s John Mueller addresses a few technical aspects of mobile-first indexing that continue to confuse site owners.

Mueller says he occasionally gets questions about how to use rel-alternate and rel-canonical links on sites with separate mobile URLs.

This information may be known to you, but Mueller felt it’s important enough to create a whole Twitter thread about, so I will go over what he said in case it’s useful to you.

Mobile-First Indexing and Canonical URLs

Mueller explains nothing has changed with mobile-first indexing as it relates to sites with separate mobile URLs using rel-canonical.

“Keep the same annotations. No changes needed,” he says in a tweet.

Mueller even created a diagram to show how nothing needs to change before and after mobile-first indexing.

Google’s John Mueller Clears Confusion About Mobile-First Index

He goes on to say what has been said from the beginning about mobile-first indexing, which is mobile versions of a site are indexed by default.

 

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In the case of sites with separate mobile URLs, that means the m-dot version is used for indexing.

“The change with mobile first indexing is that we’ll use the mobile version (m-dot) as the version for indexing, instead of the www (desktop) version. For most sites, this change has already happened. If your site is already indexed with mobile, nothing will change.”

Google will use the mobile URL as canonical even if the rel-canonical points to desktop.

Again, there are no changes needed in order for Google to do this. It doesn’t matter which URL version is listed in the sitemap.

Where site owners can come in and assist Google is through setting up redirects by device type.

If a desktop user accesses the mobile version, they should be redirected to the desktop URL. If a mobile user accesses the desktop version, they should be redirected to the mobile version.

Here’s where things get more technical as Mueller brings hreflang into this discussion.

“If you use m-dot URLs + hreflang, the hreflang annotations should be by device type. Desktop hreflangs point to desktop URLs, mobile hreflangs point to mobile URLs. M-dot + hreflang is hard & confusing.”

Lastly, Mueller adds that sites with separate mobile URLs using hreflang are better off moving to a responsive setup with their next site upgrade.

Read the full discussion around this subject by viewing Mueller’s tweet thread below:

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Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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