Mobile Site Redirect

Recently I made a presentation to a group of legal, financial and other business professionals
on the difference between mobile apps, responsive websites and mobile websites in terms of
promoting a brand and where trends are heading.

Trying to keep to the schedule and cover the agenda as outlined, a question on a
mention of domain redirection and SEO impact was answered vaguely.

This is dedicated to those who weren't satisfied.

Normally a fair warning of technical reading ahead would be inserted here, but I
have a feeling everyone's prepared.

Beginning where we left off, SEO can be impacted when a site doesn't meet criteria for
being an "authority site." End vague response.

Of the three different modes involved (responsive, apps and mobile web) apps have the least
vulnerability in this regard, since their distribution is (or should be) handled by
a legitimate channel that has vetted their apps thoroughly.

Responsive websites are now a standard. SEO is assisted by allowing indexing of CSS and
Javascript. The traditional considerations of site performance, design and so on,
remain priorities.

Among the factors involved in ranking criteria, duplication of content across multiple domains
is determined to be an attempt to increase search rank for every applicable domain.

If a mobile URL is the method used to adapt content for mobile devices, and that content
is identical to that served by the primary domain, this can be interpreted as duplication
by Google bots.

However, redirection to separate URLS is supported if the following measures are undertaken.

Google advises inclusion of annotations: "a special link rel="alternate" tag
pointing to the corresponding mobile URL." on the non-mobile site and "
a link rel="canonical" tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL" on the mobile site.
-- Maile Ohye http://bit.ly/1r2qTE1

Options are to include these annotations in HTML pages or in the site map, although the
link tag for mobile should still be included (in the HTML).

Each link tag should point to the corresponding page in the alternate/canonical URL, and
avoid redirecting to non-relevant pages.

Entering "seo mobile redirect" in Google search returns at least 1,100,000 results as of
the date of this post, with entries going back a number of years, and spanning even greater
detail such as Google notifying of faulty redirects.

Some even advocate having a separate mobile website depending on legacy systems and best
experience for product viewing among other considerations.

Let me add a little something that may make this a bit more unique/useful.

Several hosting companies offer mobile website services which can include automatic
rendering of a non-mobile site to a mobile format. If you're hosting with Go Daddy and
purchase a ".mobi" domain [link to dotmobi.com] (presumably the same name as the ".com" of
your desktop site) you can generate a mobile website merely with a setting on the mobile
domain management dashboard.

There are no other customizations available; it only reflects changes you make to the source
non-mobile site, but dotmobi takes care of Google requirements on the mobile site.

One of the websites where I'm using this solution needed to be upgraded to HTML5 and
utilize other enhancements. The layout was appealing. Once the responsive
conversion is completed other branding opportunities with the mobile site will be explored.

I hope this will make up for the ostensible casual treatment of the redirect SEO impact
question.

And I can see the next time I make this presentation I'd better request at least
an additional 15 minutes!

Posted in Business and Marketing.

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