How Can Webmasters Use the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console to Ensure Their Mobile Site Is Correctly Indexed Under Mobile-First Indexing?


The URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console enables webmasters to verify that their mobile site is correctly indexed under mobile-first indexing. Through the tool, they can check the crawlability, rendering, and indexing status of individual URLs, ensuring alignment with mobile-first indexing requirements. This guide details how to use the tool effectively for this purpose.

Understanding Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-First Indexing Overview

Mobile-first indexing means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Previously, the desktop version was primarily used, but as mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop, Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing [Mobile-First Indexing, 2023].

Using the URL Inspection Tool Effectively

Accessing the URL Inspection Tool

To access the URL Inspection Tool, log in to Google Search Console and navigate to the tool from the left-hand menu. Enter the URL you wish to inspect in the search bar at the top.

Checking URL Indexing Status

After entering a URL, the tool provides detailed insights into how Google views that particular page. The key aspects to check are:

  • Index coverage: Indicates whether the URL is indexed and if there are any indexing issues. Ensure the mobile version is correctly indexed.
  • Crawl status: Shows when Google last crawled the URL and any issues encountered during crawling.
  • User-declared canonical: Confirms the URL that the page designates as the canonical URL, which Google uses to prevent duplicate content issues.
  • Google-selected canonical: Shows whether Google has selected a different URL than the user-declared canonical, which could indicate canonicalization issues.

Mobile-Friendly Verification

The URL Inspection Tool includes a section titled "Mobile Usability" that lists any usability issues detected on the mobile version of the site. Common issues include:

  • Text being too small to read
  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Content wider than the screen

Addressing these issues is crucial for mobile-first indexing. Guidelines for fixing mobile usability issues can be found in Google's documentation [Fix Mobile Usability Issues, 2023].

Render and Test Live URL

The "View tested page" and "Test live URL" options in the URL Inspection Tool allow webmasters to see a rendered screenshot of how Googlebot views the mobile version of the page. It’s essential for ensuring that dynamic content loads correctly and the mobile site appears as intended.

  • View tested page: Shows a screenshot and the rendered HTML.
  • Test live URL: Executes a real-time test to check if the page can be indexed without issues.

Making adjustments to align the live rendering with expected visual output ensures Google correctly understands your mobile content [Inspect URL with Google Search Console, 2023].

Requesting Reindexing

If the inspection reveals issues and you make corrections, you can use the tool's "Request indexing" feature to ask Google to re-crawl your URL. This helps expedite the process of having your updates reflected in Google’s index.

Analyzing Structured Data

For sites using structured data, it’s vital to verify that the structured data is correctly implemented for the mobile version. The URL Inspection Tool highlights structured data detected on the page and reports any issues. Ensure structured data matches between mobile and desktop versions to prevent discrepancies in indexing.


Using the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console allows webmasters to ensure their mobile site is correctly indexed under mobile-first indexing. By verifying indexing status, addressing mobile usability issues, testing live URLs, and requesting reindexing as needed, webmasters can optimize their site’s performance in Google’s search results.