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Seo For Mobile Web


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Charles

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:10 AM

I have questions about SEO for the mobile web. I (perhaps naively) assumed that Google's iPhone app would somehow favor mobile-optimized (small screen) sites over desktop (large screen) sites. Yet, when we've developed mobile versions of our clients' websites, it's the original desktop URL still appears in the Google mobile search results.

This is not a practical problem since browser detection/redirection automatically sends the user to the mobile version. I'm just wondering if we should be doing anything special for the mobile versions. Currently, we're setting up the mobile sites as either subdirectories (url/mobile) or subdomains (m.url) of the main site and include the "handheld-friendly" meta tag. We're more or less duplicated the SEO from the desktop version since the text is basically the same, just shorter.

I would appreciate any pointers, links to articles, etc.

Charles

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 01:38 PM

For now the pendulum seems to favor designing Websites that detect browser/client and serve content formatted for that platform. I think a lot of sites are moving in that direction and the search engines are just following/respecting their decisions.

#3 Charles

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Aug 17 2011, 02:38 PM) View Post
For now the pendulum seems to favor designing Websites that detect browser/client and serve content formatted for that platform. I think a lot of sites are moving in that direction and the search engines are just following/respecting their decisions.


Thanks, Michael

I know that's the ideal the same content formatted for two different types of browsers. But without redesigning the existing desktop version, that's not feasable in our case.

Here's what I'm wrestling with since the SEs are apparently indexing only the primary (desktop) site, should I simply forget SEO for the nearly identical mobile version?

Charles

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:11 PM

I can only tell you that I myself have occasionally read fully formatted Web pages on my old cell phone and now my Droid. However, I don't know how typical I am. Mobile SEO is not one of my strengths and I'm not yet inclined to invest a lot of time and research into it.

Maybe someone else can share a more confident, definitive opinion with you but I think ultimately you just have to make or recommendation a business decision, not an SEO decision.

#5 chrishirst

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:49 AM

Personally I am convinced that the so-called "Mobile SEO" is simply more BS dreamt up by "experts" to part the unsuspecting and gullible from more of their money.


I do absolutely NOTHING AT ALL specially for mobiles on the pages, yet the same pages work in all browsers and get shown for SE queries by all manner of devices.



#6 Jill

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 08:21 AM

Have you thought of using browser detection so that mobile users get that version and others get the main one? That would be my reco.

#7 Charles

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 19 2011, 09:21 AM) View Post
Have you thought of using browser detection so that mobile users get that version and others get the main one? That would be my reco.


As I mentioned in the original post, we do use browser detection/redirection.

Perhaps I didn't explain it well, but I was just curious if Google spidered and indexed a site's mobile version differently, perhaps favoring the mobile version in its mobile app results. And if they did, did that suggest a different approach to optimization? But it now seems clear that everything is keyed off the main desktop version, and that a site's mobile version is nothing more than an accommodation for smartphone users.

Agree?

Charles

#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 06:48 PM

I think that if you have the ability to create a mobile style sheet, you're probably better off doing that and doing away with your sub-domain. However, knowing nothing about your site design or how it's marketed, I am giving you relatively blind advice. Take it for what it's worth and nothing more than that.

It's something to consider.

#9 Jill

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:32 PM

QUOTE(Charles @ Aug 19 2011, 05:30 PM) View Post
As I mentioned in the original post, we do use browser detection/redirection.


How would google find the mobile version then?





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