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Making Sure Your Mobile Site is Indexed

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic, Website Technical Issues | Posted on 19-04-2012

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These days pretty much everyone is using the internet on their phone.  They aren’t tied to a desk looking for information.  They’re out and about, so it is more important than ever before that you have a mobile website that’s not only functional on mobile phones but also easy to find, and that means that you’ve got to be indexed.

Just as traditional websites are indexed by search engine crawlers, which work on ranking sites according to keywords, mobile sites also need to be indexed.  However, there is one big problem with this.  Most website owners just assume that if their traditional site is being indexed by the search engines, then their mobile site is too.  Unfortunately that just isn’t the case.  Google has released some tips to help website owners make sure that their mobile sites are being indexed properly:

  • Build a sitemap for your mobile send and submit it to Google so the search engine is aware it exists.  Use Webmaster Tools to do this.
  • Check to see if Google’s mobile crawler can gain access to the site by enabling any user-agent to access it.  By using DNS Lookups, you can check to make sure Google’s mobile bot is accessing your site.  Verify this by looking for a user with a handle that is made up of something along the lines of Googlebot-Mobile.  Google does say they change their user agent names occasionally, so the name won’t match exactly, but you should be able to tell which one is Google’s mobile bot.
  • Make sure that your mobile friendly addresses’ doc type definition is a mobile format like Compact HTML or XHTML Mobile.  Website owners who have both a traditional and a mobile site run the risk of the wrong site indexing in mobile search results if this distinction in coding language is not made.

There are also other things you can do to help make sure that the mobile version of your site is the one that is actually showing up in mobile search results.  For example, whenever a bot or search engine crawler that is specifically looking for mobile content goes over your traditional site, you can send a redirect to the crawler to send it over to the mobile site instead of the traditional site.  Each search engine recognizes the differences between a search conducted on a desktop computer and one that was done on a phone, so by showing it where to find mobile content, you help the search engine distinguish between your traditional site and your mobile site.

A lot of work goes into owning a website and keeping it up today, but too many website owners don’t even realize that they’ve got to run not just one site, but two.  Both sites may look the same and use the same keywords, but in order for your site to be indexed properly, you’ve got to show the bots what kind of site it is so that users will be able to find the right site at the right time.