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SEO Optimisation For Mobile Devices In 2013

Google has recently released new ranking guidelines for search results via mobile devices. Google will be implementing these to provide smartphone users with a more enjoyable mobile web experience. Let’s look at the two most common mobile SEO mistakes that will be affected by the new Google guidelines.

Acceptable Mobile SEO Configuration’s

As a quick summary Google supports three mobile SEO options:

• responsive websites (recommended)
• separate mobile and desktop sites
• sites serving different html depending on device type across the same set of URL’s.

As long as your mobile site is in one of those three formats then Google likes you.

Faulty Redirects

Some websites use mobile specific pages or urls and redirects that send the user to the incorrect page, is no longer acceptable. For example, desktop sites that are configured to redirect smartphone users to the mobile websites home page regardless of which page they originally wanted to go to.

This breaks up the user experience and although it might not cause the user to leave the page, Google now frowns upon this. Google suggestion to avoid faulty redirects is simple, redirect smartphone users to the appropriate smartphone pages.

If a smartphone page isn’t available then showing then the regular page is preferable to a page that isn’t relevant to their request.

Mobile Site Errors

Google will now be cracking down on errors that only appear for smartphone users. This is a common occurrence and will now be affecting your rankings for mobile devices. Common errors are:

• 404 Errors – Serving 404 or soft 404 errors when a user is visiting a desktop page from a smartphone instead of redirecting them to a mobile optimised page.

• Incorrect Video Formats – Embedding video content that isn’t supported on Smartphones. e.g. Flash videos that aren’t playable on iPhones.

• App Download Overlays – Although you think it is beneficial to the user to promote your app, that may even work better than the mobile site, Google now considers this disturbing to the users experience. Your app downloads will decrease but so will your mobile rankings if you don’t comply.

• Googlebot-Mobile Errors – Incorrectly addressing Googlebot-Mobile causing an infinite loop between the mobile site and the desktop site, causing the mobile site not to be indexed and thus an error.

• Mobile Page Speeds – Mobile pages that load to slow may not rank as well considering Google’s aim to provide the best user experience. Google recommends that your above the fold content should display in under 1 second.

Google is always looking out for the interest of the user. They want you to provide a mobile site that delivers the viewer to the appropriate pages and functions correctly. This should also be your goal for your mobile website.

If you have a mobile website or would like to hear more about SEO and Mobile Device optimisation get in touch with the team at Bang Online today.