How to Get Mobile Sites Indexed in Google

Notify Google of mobile sites

Configure mobile sites so that they can be indexed accurately

It seems the world is going mobile, with many people using mobile phones on a daily basis, and a large user base searching on Google’s mobile search page. However, as a webmaster, running a mobile site and tapping into the mobile search audience isn’t easy. Mobile sites not only use a different format from normal desktop sites, but the management methods and expertise required are also quite different. This results in a variety of new challenges. While many mobile sites were designed with mobile viewing in mind, they weren’t designed to be search friendly.

Here are troubleshooting tips to help ensure that your site is properly crawled and indexed:

(1) Example of a search for [baseball cards] on Google’s desktop search (above) and mobile search (left). Mobile search results are built for mobile devices and are different from “standard” desktop results.

Verify that your mobile site is indexed by Google

If your web site doesn’t show up in the results of a Google mobile search even using the site: operator, it may be that your site has one or both of the following issues:

1. Googlebot may not be able to find your site

Googlebot 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 a Mobile Sitemap and submit it to Google to inform us of the site’s existence. A Mobile Sitemap can be submitted using Google Webmaster Tools, just like a standard Sitemap.

2. 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 (2). You should also be aware that Google may change its Useragent information at any time without notice, so we don’t recommend checking whether the User-agent exactly matches “Googlebot-Mobile” (the current User-agent). Instead, check whether the Useragent header contains the string “Googlebot-Mobile”. You can also use DNS Lookups to verify Googlebot.

[php]

SetEnvIf User-Agent "Googlebot-Mobile" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "Android" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "BlackBerry" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "iPhone" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "NetFront" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "Symbian OS" allow_ua
SetEnvIf User-Agent "Windows Phone" allow_ua
Order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from env=allow_ua

[/php]

(2) An example of a mobile site restricting any access from non-mobile devices. Please remember to allow access from user agents including “Googlebot-Mobile”.

Verify that Google can recognize your mobile URLs

Once Googlebot-Mobile crawls your URLs, we then check for whether each URL is viewable on a mobile device. Pages we determine aren’t viewable on a mobile phone won’t be included in our mobile site index (although they may be included in the regular web index). This determination is based on a variety of factors, one of which is the “DTD (Doc Type Definition)” declaration. Check that your mobile-friendly URLs’ DTD declaration is in an appropriate mobile format such as XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML (3). If it’s in a compatible format, the page is eligible for the mobile search index. For more information, see the Mobile Webmaster Guidelines.

[php]

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//WAPFOLUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.0//EN"
"http://www.wapfolum.org/DTD/xhtml-mobile10.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="application/xhtml+xml;
charset=Shift_JIS" />

[/php]

(3) An example of DTD for mobile devices.

Author: Aliva Tripathy

Taking out time from a housewife life and contributing to AxiBook is a passion for me. I love doing this and gets mind filled with huge satisfaction with thoughtful feedbacks from you all. Do love caring for others and love sharing knowledge more than this.

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