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Google Issues Recommendations For Sites To Rank On Smartphone Search

Posted on the 12 June 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

According to a post on Google published their recommendations and the most common configuration mistakes for websites looking to engage smartphone users and benefit from mobile search results

“Avoiding these mistakes helps your smartphone users engage with your site fully and helps searchers find what they’re looking for faster.”

To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.

Let’s now look at two of the most common mistakes and how to fix them.

Faulty redirects

Some websites use separate URLs to serve desktop and smartphone users. A faulty redirect is when a desktop page redirects smartphone users to an irrelevant page on the smartphone-optimized website. A typical example is when all pages on the desktop site redirect smartphone users to the homepage of the smartphone-optimized site. For example, in the figure below, the redirects shown as red arrows are considered faulty:

Google Issues Recommendations For Sites To Rank On Smartphone Search

This kind of redirect disrupts a user’s workflow and may lead them to stop using the site and go elsewhere. Even if the user doesn’t abandon the site, irrelevant redirects add more work for them to handle, which is particularly troublesome when they’re on slow mobile networks. These faulty redirects frustrate users whether they’re looking for a webpage, video, or something else, and our ranking changes will affect many types of searches.

Avoiding irrelevant redirects is very easy: Simply redirect smartphone users from a desktop page to its equivalent smartphone-optimized page. If the content doesn’t exist in a smartphone-friendly format, showing the desktop content is better than redirecting to an irrelevant page.

We have more tips about redirects, and be sure to read our recommendations for having separate URLs for desktop and smartphone users.

Smartphone-only errors

Some sites serve content to desktop users accessing a URL but show an error page to smartphone users. There are many scenarios where smartphone-only errors are seen. Some common ones are:

  • If you recognize a user is visiting a desktop page from a mobile device and you have an equivalent smartphone-friendly page at a different URL, redirect them to that URL instead of serving a 404 or a soft 404 page.
  • Make sure that the smartphone-friendly page itself is not an error page. If your content is not available in a smartphone-friendly format, serve the desktop page instead.

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