Pros and Cons of Mobile SEO

One of the features of MOBIFY is mapping the source site to the mobile
view (www.yoursite.com/category/article &
m.yoursite.com/category/article). After installing a device detection
plugin, search links work on mobile without loading the heavy desktop
version. This presents several interesting challenges.

​1. My mobile view appears in desktop search results. We most often
illustrate this using the Digg example:

mobify digg 1

Some desktop sites are not very SEO-friendly, causing the mobile view
to rank higher than the source
. Google loves well-designed,
well-structured sites with minimal noise. Mobile versions often match
that description. Would you want to be ranked higher at the expense of
your desktop version being #1? A quick fix for this situation is
achieved by blocking search engine crawlers from seeing the mobile view.

​2. Mobile vs Desktop Sitemaps.

Google has a whole section dedicated to mobile sitemaps in its
Webmaster Central. It also has a section for desktop sitemaps. While
the overall effectiveness of these can be disputed, should a mobile view
have a sitemap of its own? Should there be two, in parallel? This is not
clear when the URL structure and domain are the same for both
properties.

​3. Should mobile crawlers be driven to specific areas of a website?

Major search engines deploy mobile crawlers – masked behind User Agent
strings of outdated phones like the Nokia 8300. Their task is to
discover mobile-friendly pages. In the WebKit world mobile friendliness
means a lot more to the publisher (from the revenue standpoint) than to
the mobile user. We recommend only messing with this in case the point
of entry to the mobile view is different than the index of the source
site.

These are interesting decisions that come us as websites face several
types of search and use context. Let us know if you have any stories to
tell!

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