Does indexing a mobile website create a duplicate content issues?

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Today’s question comes
from Biznick in Missouri. Biznick asks, Does indexing
a mobile website create duplicate content issues
with the main site? Any recommendations
for mobile SEO? Great question. So first off, let me just say
that we’ll put a link in the description of this video
that points to a blog post. It was done by a bunch of
people who have experience with this particular topic from the
Japan team, in fact, who talked about SEO, mobile, all that
stuff, how they interact. But let me go ahead and share
the best practices with you. Googlebot has a specific user
agent, I think it’s Googlebot mobile, for mobile search. So if you see Googlebot mobile,
then serve up your mobile site. If you see just regular
Googlebot, I would serve up just your regular site. It can be nice to have the
content on a separate URL, so maybe m dot whatever your site
is dot com; that can be a very good best practice. The other thing that some
people seem to worry about is they say well
aren’t I cloaking? Is this going to cause some
sort of cloaking issue? Will I get into a penalty
from that perspective? And the answer is no for
the following reason. Cloaking looks at the
difference between what is returned to the main
Googlebot– that is our Googlebot web crawler
versus to the user. So there’s no problem returning
your main site to Googlebot and your main site to users using a
regular web browser, Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome,
anything like that. Now if you see a mobile user
agent come in, so something that you can tell from the user
agent is an iPhone or an Android phone or something like
that, then it absolutely makes sense to return your mobile
version of your site. So in essence, all we ask you
to do to avoid any cloaking is if regular Googlebot comes, the
web crawler, treat us just like a regular web user visiting
with Internet Explorer or FireFox or Safari or Chrome. If a regular user comes in or
if Googlebot comes in and it’s Googlebot mobile, then give it
the mobile version of that site. Other than that, those are the
main things to bear in mind. I think it is very handy to
have a separate URL, like m dot, whatever the name of your
site is, because then you can always do testing, you can
make sure that things work. It might keep it a little bit
more clear in people’s mind about what’s going on. But if you do those you
shouldn’t have any duplicate content issues. And if you do, please stop by
the forum linked to from google.com/webmasters and let
us know what sort of issues you see, and then we’ll take that,
see if we can debug it, and make sure that it works
better for everybody. Thanks.

15 Replies to “Does indexing a mobile website create a duplicate content issues?”

  1. jonathan becker says:

    Can't wait to build myself a mobile site now. I could see using a subdomain for the mobile site possibly causing some cross domain tracking issues in GA though.

  2. rustybrick says:

    Just be careful. From what I understand, Google does not classify an iPhone/Android mobile template as a mobile site. You should only serve Google Mobilebot content designed for old fashion phones. Because the index you get when searching on a smart phone is different then what you get when searching on an old nokia phone.

  3. Curtis Droppelman says:

    @jonathanzbecker When you check the status of GA, you can tell it that the domain is set to support supdomains and it will give you a new code output.

  4. David Hadley says:

    Nice to see some SEO videos, I miss them!

  5. Aivars Priedītis says:

    Thanks for the Tip. 🙂

  6. Mr.Dogman YouTube says:

    I like the Hand Gesture in regards to hitting home on the content cloaking issues… me in paticular I like to sites mobile then a regular

  7. Anthony Browne says:

    Good video. For mobile development go to digitapmedia . com

  8. Intuitive Tarot Readings by Jeannie Zukav says:

    What does that mean to serve up? And Do I also need to canonicolize the links from my sub domain m. to my main url?

  9. russologia says:

    CMS with Responsive Web Design

  10. Télé Zen says:

    Merci pour ces explications bien claires à propos du duplicate content et des sites mobile 🙂

  11. Akshaya Kumar Behera says:

    Hi,
    Thankful to you for providing this information..

  12. kwakwaversal says:

    Anyone else notice his laptop screen saver kicking in around 1:51? It's hardwired into our brain to disrupt it. 🙂

  13. Stefan Kleber says:

    THX Matt 🙂

  14. About You Technology says:

    Thanks for the tips!!

  15. World Market Square says:

    thanks for the tips.

    Please how do i create the m. subdomain for my site? i need steps on how to do it

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