May 2021 is the current official date that Google will roll “Page Insights” into the core search index, giving us all roughly six months to tune and meet Google’s new requirements.
That is, of course, unless this slips back as the mobile indexing change did – for those of who lived through Google’s “Mobile Apocalypse” a few years back, Google foreshadowing a change that then takes a lot longer to arrive is nothing new.
Cynics among you may suspect that what Google is doing here is looking for a bump in user numbers for Lighthouse and Page Insights (the tools it uses and recommends for measuring this stuff) to provide them with more data on how this will impact the index. Google say they’ve had a 70% increase in the number of users looking at Lighthouse, but that could easily be a very small number of website owners, SEOs, and developers.
When the “mobile first” index first went live there were some huge winners and losers, adjustments that Google hastily had to try to rectify as some popular (and mobile optimised) sites didn’t “make the cut” for mysterious reasons. Under increasing scrutiny for what they do and don’t index, Google won’t to mess this up!
What should you do?
Speak to your web developer as soon as possible and make sure you have a plan in place to tick as many boxes as possible from Google’s Page Insights Performance Report. You can run this yourself from right from inside your browser. Be prepared to set a budget for these changes – you may need to upgrade software and hardware if you want a “clean sweep” across all requirements.
In terms of your own expectations of what can and can’t be done a page, be prepared to make some adjustments too. Google are once again pushing the benefits of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) – cut down versions of web pages that offer increased speed, but also decreased functionality, for mobile devices.