Is a Mobile Website Duplicate Content?

Is a Mobile Website Duplicate Content?

Today, having a mobile website or a responsive website is important for both your SEO and the overall functionality of your site. With the growth in smart phone users over the past years, it has become a necessity to have a mobile/responsive website.  So now you have to choose, a responsive design or a mobile website? Either option is gonna be beneficial to web presence but could one of them be detrimental?

Duplicate content is one of the more frightening penalties that Google has in its repertoire and you should do everything that you can to avoid it. This raises the question whether your mobile site be seen as duplicate content. If so , how does avoid a penalty from a mobile site?

Responsive Sites:

The answer to this question is no. With a responsive website there is no chance of duplicate content. In a responsive design the mobile user does not go to a different site. Instead your site rearranges itself based upon the size of the screen that the person is using. In some responsive designs the amount of content on the site can change based upon how the site changes,

Mobile Sites:

Mobile site typically have a different URL for example : m.example.com and need to be indexed differently than normal websites. To avoid any duplication issues I would recommend creating two sitemaps and using webmasters tools to submit the two sites differently. This should avoid any confusion on the part of Google. Google also uses two different bots to crawl websites and mobile sites.  You can block the standard Googlebot from reading your website and use the Mobile Googlebot to read it instead. This will also help avoid duplicate content between your two sites.

Google Webmasters forum reads:

Googlebot may not be able to find your site 
Googlebot, our crawler, must crawl your site before it can be included in our search index. If you just created the site, we may not yet be aware of it. If that’s the case, create aMobile Sitemap and submit it to Google to inform us to the site’s existence. A Mobile Sitemap can be submitted using Google Webmaster Tools, in the same way as with a standard Sitemap.

Googlebot may not be able to access your site 
Some mobile sites refuse access to anything but mobile phones, making it impossible for Googlebot to access the site, and therefore making the site unsearchable. Our crawler for mobile sites is “Googlebot-Mobile”. If you’d like your site crawled, please allow any User-agent including “Googlebot-Mobile” to access your site. 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). Instead, check whether the User-agent headercontains the string “Googlebot-Mobile”. You can also use DNS Lookups to verify Googlebot.

By Matthew Wilkos

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