In today’s mobile world, making sure people can find your mobile content is as important as ever. Like with traditional search, making sure your mobile sites are indexed properly and ranked for your target keywords is the foundation for success.
There’s a misconception regarding what it takes to get your mobile sites indexed in mobile search engines. Most people think just because their sites are indexed and ranked in Google’s traditional search engine, that their mobile sites will be equally indexed and ranked via Google’s mobile search as well- when in reality the two search engines differ slightly. If your mobile site shows up in traditional searches, don’t always assume your mobile site shows up in mobile search as well.
Google recently published a few tips aimed at mobile Website owners to help make sure their sites are properly included in Google mobile search;
- Create a mobile sitemap and submit it to Google so Google knows it exists. This can be done using Google Webmaster Tools, just like with a regular sitemap.
- To make sure Googlebot-Mobile can access your site, allow any User-agent to access it. “You should also be aware that Google may change its User-agent information at any time without notice, so it is not recommended that you check if the User-agent exactly matches ‘Googlebot-Mobile’ (which is the string used at present),” says Jun Mukai, a software engineer on Google’s mobile search team. “Instead, check whether the User-agent header contains the string ‘Googlebot-Mobile’. You can also use DNS Lookups to verify Googlebot.”
- Check that your mobile-friendly URLs’ DTD (Doc Type Definition) declaration is in an appropriate mobile format such as XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML. If you run both a regular site and a mobile version of it, there is a possibility that the wrong version will show up in the wrong search results.
Another problem you might run into is the fact that if you run both a regular site and a mobile version of it, there’s a possibility that the wrong version will show up in the wrong search results. Luckily, there’s ways to prevent this. “When a mobile user or crawler (like Googlebot-Mobile) accesses the desktop version of a URL, you can redirect them to the corresponding mobile version of the same page,” explains Mukai. “Google notices the relationship between the two versions of the URL and displays the standard version for searches from desktops and the mobile version for mobile searches.”
In the end, it takes a few simple steps to ensure your mobile site is available to the masses. Mobile search engines, and especially Google’s mobile search, is a primary means for consumers to find and access mobile content. User’s want your mobile content, just make sure it’s easy for them to find.