Google Search Core & Spam Update - October 2023
Google Search started focusing more and more on mobile devices starting in 2015, with the mobile friendly update. Then, in 2016, they started mobile-first crawling and indexing. This allowed Google Search to index the content that users would see, when they access the website on their mobile phone. Crawling and indexing as a smartphone was a big change for Google's infrastructure, but also a change for the public web: a mobile web page now needed to be as complete as the corresponding desktop version. Over the years, mobile web traffic has continued to grow; in some regions, people almost exclusively use their phone to access the internet.
Google Search regularly updates their search ranking systems to ensure they are showing the most relevant, helpful content that they can. For more information on how these updates can affect your site see Google Search Update FAQ's.
Google currently know of a very small set of sites which do not work on mobile devices at all. The error types they have seen are primarily that the page shows errors to all mobile users, that the mobile version of the site is blocked with robots.txt while the desktop version is allowed for crawling, or that all pages on the mobile site redirect to the homepage. These are issues that Google can't resolve. They will continue to try to crawl these sites with their legacy desktop Googlebot crawler for the time being, and will re-evaluate the list a few times a year.
Additionally, Google will continue to reduce their crawling with legacy desktop Googlebot as much as possible. This helps to save resources for site-owners, and for Google itself.
Search Console Changes
With the move to Mobile First Indexing, Google is also turning off the indexing crawler information in the settings page in Search Console. This information is no longer needed since all websites that work on mobile devices are now being primarily crawled with their mobile crawler. The crawl stats report shows how your site is currently being crawled, if you're curious.
Google are releasing an update to their spam detections systems that will improve the coverage in many languages and spam types.
This spam update aims to clean up several types of spam that our community members reported in Turkish, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages. Google expects this to reduce the visible spam in search results, particularly when it comes to cloaking, hacked, auto-generated, and scraped spam. The update will take a few weeks to roll out.
Sites that see a change after a spam update should review the Google spam policies.