Googlebot Now Crawls Smartphone Sites

Google recently announced that its Googlebot – Mobile now crawls the
mobile web with a smartphone user-agent, in addition to its existing
feature-phone user-agent.

“With the number of smartphone users rapidly rising, we’re seeing more
and more websites providing content specifically designed to be browsed
on smartphones,” says Google software engineer Yoshikiyo Kato.  In
response, Google has changed the way smartphone content is indexed.

Whenever Google makes a change to the way they crawl the web, it’s a big
deal in the web marketing world because chances are your sites gets
between 25 – 65 % of traffic from Google.

Just like when Google announced that Adwords Quality Score was affected
by mobile
, we wanted to find out what the new smartphone crawler
means for our customers.

Starbucks-search

We did a little digging and talked to Peter McLachlan, Mobify’s chief
solution architect, with a particular regard to search engine
optimization (SEO).

“We’ve always worked hard to make sure that Mobify provides a great user
experience and are happy to see Google is focussed on the same thing,”
he stated.  “A key component of a great user experience is something
comprehensive that just works for everyone.  That’s why we’re so
focussed on the One Web solution – one URL for the website that adapts
to desktop, mobile, and tablet.”

“The One Web approach also means search ranking is never divided between
a desktop site and a mobile site.  As a result, Mobify-powered sites
reach and stay at the top of search rankings.”

Now, if your website treats smartphones differently from featurephones
or desktop users, Google will be able to index results separately.  This
means:

  • Smartphone users will automatically be given a link to the
    smartphone optimized page in their Google search results.
  • The direct link removes the extra latency from a smartphone
    redirect, shaving off between 0.5 – 1 seconds.
  • Search results are now dependent on device, as well as search terms.

We’re excited to see Google paying more and more attention to mobile and
are excited to see what they do next to help improve the mobile
experience.

Mobify has been all about mobile optimization and we’re excited to see
Google going in the same direction as us, managing search and ad results
based on mobile experience, and starting to rank results differently if
the search is on a mobile device.  The best way to get great search
rankings is to stay focussed on great user experiences across all ways
people are searching.

Read more at Google’s blog.

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