• buchananadamm

    Responsive design seems like the long-term solution to me.

  • http://twitter.com/SFBaySEO Ross Taylor

    Just started working with my first responsive WP theme for a local business, and it looks like it 100% eliminates the need for a mobile site in most cases.

  • http://www.brysonmeunier.com/ Bryson Meunier

    Thanks for your comment. You’re entitled to your opinion, and there are many in web design and SEO who favor responsive design in all cases, but as I explained last month (
    http://searchengineland.com/for-mobile-seo-ask-what-do-mobile-searchers-need-116072 ) responsive design in many cases doesn’t allow brands to address to address mobile-specific searcher behavior, and can reduce the number of keywords that a site is eligible for and unnecessarily decrease engagement to a mobile site. I addressed my preferred method of building content for mobile searchers, which is a hybrid of responsive design and dedicated mobile content here a few months ago: 
    http://searchengineland.com/how-to-best-optimize-your-mobile-site-for-seo-112940 In the Nielsen vs. Clark debate that’s been going on among designers and usability professionals the past couple of weeks, I agree most with the dissenting piece written by Jason Mark earlier today that argues we should focus on data and what the users want: 
    http://www.netmagazine.com/opinions/nielsen-vs-clark-theyre-both-wrong

    Whichever method you prefer, there are 14.7 million m. pages indexed in Google, 8.3 million wap.domain.com pages and 2.9 million pages on mobile.subdomains. SEOs can use this content to their advantage or they can ignore it and let it keep them from being visible to mobile searchers. Responsive design doesn’t really enter into it. Hopefully this article helps those people who clearly need it today.

  • David Radicke

    Very interesting post!

    What I always wanted to ask (but did not find anybody to answer):

    Is there any evidence at all, that a mobile-optimized (stand-alone, indexed) site version gives you any ranking advantage in mobile search over having just ONE “normal” web-based site with a switch to mobile-friendly CSS?

    The users certainly don´t care which way they reach the mobile friendly content.

    For the publisher, having just 1 set of content indexed would make it unnecessary to even think about duplication issues.

    And if Google cared much, imho they would give us a clear (!) and strong (!) signal to mark content that should be preferred in mobile search over web-optimized content.

    I would love that mobile search option “only show me mobile friendly results” – but I have not found it yet.

    On the contrary, sometimes it is really difficult to find the mobile version of a site, even if I know it exists (but I don´t know if is hidden on m.domain.com, mobile.domain.com, domain.mobi or whereever…)

  • http://www.alexseo.se/ Alexander Edbom

    Yea, but who the hell wants to read a lot of text on a mobile phone? Desktop content should not be visible to mobile visitors unless the content shares the same goal and does it in a great way for all of the users.

  • http://www.brysonmeunier.com/ Bryson Meunier

    David, thanks for your comment. We’ll be fortunate to have Pierre Far of Google on the mobile SEO panel at SMX Advanced, and I’ll be sure to bring up many of these issues to try to get more clarity. If you’re interested in mobile SEO, this is the year to attend SMX Advanced if you haven’t gotten a ticket already.

    Re: Old Possum, when you redirect smartphone Googlebot to the smartphone optimized site, you are letting Google know which version you would like to appear in search results. Not as easy as a canonical tag, but not that difficult either.

    I agree it can be very difficult to find mobile sites in Google if you’re looking for them. Another thing for responsive design advocates to consider, as traffic for queries including “mobile site” have increased significantly in the past two years (http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=%22mobile%20site%22%20-facebook%20-www.facebook.com%20-facebook.com%2C%22full%20site%22%20-facebook%20-www.facebook.com%20-facebook.com&geo=US&cmpt=q), yet mobile formatted content would be unlikely to appear for the term since no mobile site technically exists. Many frustrated users in search just looking for a better experience.

    If you access the web through a Blackberry or some other feature phone, Google used to have a mobile-friendly index, but that’s been removed from the smartphone results. Not sure why, as most smartphone users prefer to access mobile sites, even though their browser can handle the full site (http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/analytics/do-mobile-optimized-experiences-improve-engagement-on-super-phones-and-tablets-like-the-ipad/).

    As for the big question about whether dedicated mobile sites have an algorithmic advantage in Google, our initial research does indicate that a higher percentage of sites in the top three smartphone search results have mobile sites than the percentage of Google’s largest advertisers with mobile sites (http://www.brysonmeunier.com/influence-of-mobile-sites-on-google-smartphone-search-ranking/). Whether this is because of having a mobile site or providing a better user experience wasn’t part of the study, but it is something we could explore in the future. I’ll be presenting all of this data at SMX Advanced this June if you want to learn more.

  • David Radicke

    Bryson, thanks for the further explanation!

    Can´t make it to Seattle this year, although even this one topic sounds interesting enough to be worth the trip over from Germany…

    re: “when you redirect smartphone Googlebot to the smartphone optimized site”… but that´s we all have 

  • explorewww

    I agree with David that mobile search option should only show mobile friendly website. As a user I would prefer a single URL and website should be rendered based on the device platform. Why should user be burden to remember a mobile address vs desktop address for the same website.

    It is really difficult to find the mobile version of a site, even if I know it exists (but I don´t know if is hidden on m.domain.com, mobile.domain.com, domain.mobi or whereever…)”

  • Marc_Nashaat

    So would it be fair then to say that it’s a good idea to force redirect users who try to navigate to m. tlds from non-mobile devices to the home page? 

  • http://www.slideshare.net/purebredbreeders/purebred-breeders-reviews-purebredbreederscom yonowillis

    Duplicate content always results in the loss of page rank and link popularity.  But this can be avoided if the site create the other version of that particular page or give reference by using more than one url.