SMX Advanced 2012: iSEO – Doing Mobile SEO Right

SMX Advanced 2012 (Seattle)
SMX Advanced 2012 (Seattle)

Cindy Krum, CEO MobileMoxie (@suzzicks)

Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers Wherever They Are

1. Separate MObile Pages

– Mobile speficic design templates and content
– user agent detection, redirect from desktop to mobile

2. Responsive Design

– dual purpose pages for desktop and mobile
– same URLs for both versions

3. Mixed Solution (RESS)

Case Study: Info-tainment

DUST – duplicate URL same text

Mobilization Engine was creating lots of DUST

Kills the efficiency of the crawl

Since not all pages were mobilized, not all pages were redirected to a mobile version
– desktop pages still ranked in mobile search

Mobilization engine not caching and compressing pages correctly

– update feeds sent to the mobile engine to include SEO tags
– better server rules to reduce DUST
– Canonical tags up to the desktop URLs

Case Study: Doctor Directory

Mobile CMS driven templates in limited beta; wanted responsive design

Had launched hand-templated ‘m’ site but not happy with it

Beta mobile site does not contain directory pages
– concerned that deep pages would not get crawled or indexed very well

Current desktop pages too big to use responsive design effectively
– how many roundtrip DNS requests have to be made?

Move forward with current m. beta launch
– rely on UA detection and redirection from desktop to mobile
– test success and track performance
– New smartphone bot will get around the need for directory pages (eventually)

Smartphone bot relies on desktop rankings

Start a resp design with serverside components

Case Study: e-commerce site

Improve mobile rankings to drive more mobile shopping and sales

Desktop content ranking really well in mobile search

Wap & smartphone sites

Clean, light mobile pages with mostly good redirects

Inconsistencies between robots.txt, canonical tags, and XML sitemaps

Javascript Error message was the first thing indexed and cached – became a description tag in SERPS

Misdirection – desktop pages ranking well & redirecting to blank error pages

Only 6 pieces of unique anchor text on the entire site

Almost all links on the site (internal links)  have no anchor text

Fix parsing error in redirection rules

STOP JS ERROR indexing by adding bot specific instructions

Changing linking on DIVs to linking on images and anchor text

Hard to get lots of ecommerce rankings on one search
– pushing Universal Search Results & App Results in Google to own more of the mobile SERP page

Improve social interactivity on the mobile content
– better profile page rankings for the brand
– good for future of mobile search

MobileMoxie tools: SMXA2012

Bryson Meunier (@BrysonMeunier)

Mobile search will surpass desktop search in a matter of years…not decades

Many paths to mobile SEO

Desktop vs Mobile

Responsive Design

Smartphone, Tablet optimized

Site that works well on all devices

Disagreements within Google

Matt Cutts said mobile sites don’t cause canonicalization issues

Google Webmaster Team selected Responsive design for maintainability

Different search behavior requires different content to achieve user goals

Case study: Arby’s

Some categories need dedicated mobile sites

What content appears in smartphone search results?

Tested code validation, mobile usability and pagespeed and 37 total factors

Validation is key? Only 1 site validated, so it’s not true that you need to be validated.

Mobile usability/page speed is helpful? — 65% of sites in sample actually failed W3C’s Mobile OK test

72% got a score of bad (

Linkbuilding is unnecessary? — Linkbuilding is necessary even though it is mobile

dotmobi helps? — not true. Distribution of TLDs resemble desktop distribution of TLDs.

Mobile sites help ranking? — 64% of sites in the site had mobile content…a mobile site or responsive design or both.

How do top sites approach mobile SEO? Top 100 SEMrush sites response to smartphone googlebot crawl”

– 83% redirect or reformat
– 10% not crawled
– 7% no response

What they do?

Р 60% redirect to mobile URL

71% of top 100 SEMrush sites have a mobile URL, 10% have no mobile site

Data-driven mobile seo best practices

1. understand differences between what mobile user wants vs desktop user wants

2. build a mobile homepage at OR build a mobile first responsive design driven site if goals are same

3. Don’t block mobile URLs with robots.txt. Use canonical tags for duplicate URLs and redirect smartphone URLs to smartphone Googlebot but make mobile homepage unique to appear for mobile navigational searches

Next Up: Pierre Far from Google (@pierrefar), webmaster trends analyst

Smartphone sites and Google search

Recommendations for building smartphone-optimized sites

First choice: mobile site on same URLs or on different URLs

Are you going to serve same HTML or different HTML?

Responsive web design

Dynamic serving

Responsive web design

+ Same URL
++ CSS Media Queries

With responsive web design, there is an efficiency win because we don’t have to crawl your site with all of our different crawlers.

Please let all Googlebots to access all your HTML

Responsive web design tips

– Max width 640px

– Allow all bots

Dynamic serving

Different HTML
+ Same URL

Separate mobile site

Different HTML
+ Different URL

We need you to annotate these pages (relationship annotation)

rel-canonical from m.domain to www.domain

on rel-alternate

It’s a URL-level annotation

1. rel=”alternate” in sitemaps

2. Vary HTTp header if you automatically redirect (this is another signal to Google)

3. If not, understand trade-offs and pitfalls, and implement correctly (if you can’t get it right, use responsive website design instead)


Pierre says ranking factors are same on mobile for desktop. I’m not going to say anything definitive because I know you guys will break it.