Question. I have attended many of your SEO classes over the past year or so and I love to apply what I’ve learned. I guess I’m getting a reputation because my friends and co-workers have been directing a lot of questions to me lately! I received this question today but I do not really know the answer as it deals with a mobile site versus standard. Can you help? Hi! I’ve been tasked with optimizing ~.com. There is a separate mobile site, m.~.com which gets more than 50% traffic on game nights–especially during Football. Currently, search results on a phone will redirect you to the mobile site. If I optimize the mobile site, will the mobile and desktop URLs appear when searching on a phone? The content is the same on both the desktop and mobile site. I’ve read that having duplicate content can hurt results….would I need to add canonical tags?
Things change. The idea of having TWO sites – one for desktop and one for mobile – is now out of favor, in favor of “responsive site design.” WordPress is one of the best platforms for that: the WordPress server “serves up” the pages accordingly and they look good on both the desktop and mobile phones, as well as tablets. So in the “responsive site” design you have ONE single site and that obviates any problems of SEO / duplicate content.
In your example, you are using the “old school” technique of having a m.~.com site and a www.~.com site – TWO sites. So you immediately have a duplicate content potential. The best practice is to use the canonical meta tag and tell the Googlebot that the m. site is not the “real” site. But, that said, I think Google is accustomed to many of these types of sites, so I wouldn’t totally stress it. But the new best practice is a “responsive site” and not two sites.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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