Seven key aspects of URL structure for serving mobile content

Unless your site/content is appealing for mobile users, you won’t be able to tap the full potential of this powerful marketing avenue. Here are a few useful recommendations that you can implement to make this possible by following the proper URL structure for mobile content.

  1. The key issue is the URLs that your mobile content should be delivered from. Many sites have just have HTML version of their content for desktop web browsers. These sites might not be serving traditional mobile device users. The site quality (in terms of look and navigation) experienced by their smartphone users will be dependent on the mobile browser, which they’re using. It could be as efficient as browsing from the laptop or desktop.
  2. If you happen to serve merely desktop experience content for all of the User Agents, you should also do so for Googlebot-Mobile; in other words, treat Googlebot-Mobile the way you would any other or unknown User Agent/s. In such cases, Google may choose to modify your pages for a more refined mobile experience.
  3. Many sites have text specifically optimized for their mobile audience. It could be either simply reformatted for those typically smaller mobile displays or it could even be in a different format like being served using WAP. A common dilemma often is: Does it really matter if the different types of content are delivered from different URLs or from the same URL? For instance, some sites have www.version.com as the URL that desktop browsers are supposed to access, whereas wap. version.com or m. version.com is for the mobile devices. On the other hand, there are websites that serve content from one URL structure.
  4. Well, the URL structure does not matter to Googlebot & Googlebot-Mobile as long as it can return exactly what a user gets to see, too. For instance, if mobile users are redirected to m.version.com from www.version.com, the same will be recognized by Googlebot-Mobile. Both sites will be crawled and subsequently added to the correct index.
  5. In case all types of content are served from www.version.com (i.e. serving mobile-optimized content or desktop-optimized content from it depending on the User-agent), this will mostly lead to proper crawling by Googlebot & Googlebot-Mobile. Google does not consider this is as cloaking. Regardless of URL structure, it is necessary to detect the User-agent correctly as given by your users as well as Googlebot-Mobile, and serve the same content to both of them.
  6. There are also certain issues regarding the URLs to be put in Mobile Sitemaps. You should include just mobile content URLs in them, even if they also return non-mobile content on being accessed by any non-mobile User-agent.
  7. Since your conventional pages will largely be ignored, include only your mobile pages in your mobile sitemaps. You can, however, list URLs that provide both mobile content and conventional one. Submitting a mobile sitemap to engines will help them discover you for specific searches.