Mobile Enabled Web Sites Are Popping up Everywhere

- April 10, 2007

Many web site owners would really love to have a mobile version of their web site available. Not only is it just cool and convenient to browse for the latest information while on the go, it is also becoming very popular. Soon most web sites will have a mobile version. If you can’t offer this service you may lose visitors in the future.Now is a good time to start learning about the technologies involved and the issues you may run into while deploying a mobile web site.

Most mobile enabled sites are using syndicated versions of their standard site. This could create some duplicate content issues which should be avoided. I’m in the process of learning new ways to fix this issue right now. One way is to make sure that your site is being crawled by the engines correctly. The standard SERPs should only index your standard content and the Mobile SERPs should only index your mobile content.

You have probably noticed that the big players in search are all starting to offer mobile versions of their search engines which are designed to index mobile content, this means that there will probably be a mobile SERP for each engine.

With a bit of research on Google’s site, I found a list of their user-agents which can be used in your sites robots.txt file. If I had my mobile content serving out of and wanted the site to get indexed correctly I would add something like this to my robots.txt

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /mobile/

User-agent: Googlebot-Mobile
Disallow: /

User-agent: Googlebot-Mobile
Allow: /mobile/

This would tell the standard Google SERP to not index the content in “/mobile” or any of it’s sub-directories. Then the next two rules would tell the mobile Google SERP to index everything in the “/mobile” directory and ignore everything else.

This is just one way to avoid the issue, There is also the .mobi domain which is to be used only for mobile content. I will discuss this more on another day. For further reading on mobile site development and the DotMobi domain, I would recommend this awesome guide which is in PDF format.

DotMobi Mobile Web Developer Guide

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