Google has delayed the launch of its mobile-first index, saying that it will now not launch until 2018. At the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes said that its launch was likely to be “many quarters away”. Originally, Google had created a timeline which placed the launch of the mobile-first index during the final few months of 2017. Illyes described the upcoming mobile-first index as a “big change”, although he was keen to emphasise that the company had developed it so that its initial impact on non-mobile-friendly sites would be minimal. Illyes advised webmasters not to “freak out”, saying that Google was currently communicating with many publishers around the world to ensure that they are not surprised by the upcoming change. He was also keen to stress that Google’s mobile-first index will not exclude desktop content. It will simply search for and rank mobile-friendly content more preferentially.