Improving Your Mobile Version Google Listing

Getting your mobile sub-website listed in searches

Mobile friendly SEO
Some templates include a dedicated mobile "sub-site" version of the website inside a folder named "mobile". Pages will be linked between the top level, or desktop version, and sub website. If the site is not listing well on smartphone and mobile searches check all of the following info.
Your mobile version sub-site inside a "mobile" folder is not listing, or not listing well, for smartphone searches, or your full top level website is instead listing higher for smartphone and mobile device searches.

Things to check / fix to improve mobile SEO:
  1. Homepage Link: It is very important to include a visible text link to your mobile website on your main or "top level" desktop version website homepage. The code should be something like the following:

    <a href="mobile/index.html">View Mobile Version</a><br>

    This allows search engines can see and index all your mobile webpages inside the "mobile" folder. Include this link even if you're adding automatic redirection. Use the text "Mobile Version" in the link. If it's an image link use the alt tag alt="Mobile Version Website".

  2. Site Map Link(s): Your template should have included a "site_map.htm". It is important to use this page for SEO. Link to this page from your homepage and list and link all your pages on this webpage. Be sure to link to your mobile site (see link code above).

    Optionally, if your mobile site is not listing well in smartphone searches, list and link to all your mobile pages on the site map. Example:

    <a href="mobile/index.html">View Mobile Version Homepage</a><br>

    <a href="mobile/about.htm">About Page (mobile)</a><br>

    <a href="mobile/services.htm">Services (mobile)</a><br>

  3. Automatic Redirection: If search engines see an automatic smartphone redirection they can better understand where your mobile webpages are. Redirection can be done using PHP, ASP, CGI, Javascript and jQuery (there are more options in the sections below). Check in your hosting control panel and see if they have mobile redirection available that you can setup.

    Dynamic Serving (see below) or PHP is usually the best redirection script type to use. In your hosting control panel the redirects may be referred to as "plugins".

    Allwebco offers to all of our clients a free jQuery redirection script (available by request). See automatic redirection for details. It's a "client side" script (part of your webpages rather than installed in your hosting account) so generally easier to setup.

  4. Testing: Make sure your mobile version website passes the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Use the mobile link when testing:, not the top level domain URL. See also Passing the Google Mobile Friendly Test. See more about testing below on this page.

    You can do more in-depth tests at Google PageSpeed Insights.

  5. Dynamic Serving: This option makes your hosting server detect and then point targeted devices (smartphones) to the mobile website inside a folder (See also "Automatic Redirection" above). This is recommended by Google, however, it requires editing server header files and is so complicated and cryptic that only the bravest souls should attempt this. If you want to use something like this we recommend you first contact your hosting company and see if they offer help with "dynamic serving" or if it is available in your control panel.

    See Dynamic Serving at Google Developers.

  6. Viewport Tag: By default, all Allwebco mobile version and responsive templates include a "viewport" tag. Do not add this tag to non-mobile or non-responsive webpages. It's for mobile compliant and responsive webpages only.

    Check your webpages, make sure you do NOT have these in your non-mobile pages and DO have them in your mobile version webpages in the head section above the </head>.

    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">

  7. Target Titles: Google needs to know where your mobile webpages are. This may seem really basic, but edit the title meta tags for your mobile webpages and indicate that they are the mobile version, as in this title tag example:

    <title>Website Title or Name | Mobile Version</title>

    Edit the title meta tag like the above in each mobile webpage.

  8. Cross Linking: This is an optional tip to help search engines better find the mobile version. On one or two of the mobile site webpages (inside the mobile folder), include a link near the bottom linking back to the mobile homepage like the following:

    <a href="index.html">Return to Mobile Version Home</a><br>

  9. .htaccess URL Rewrite Redirects: We mention this option only so you are aware of it. It involves editing files on your hosting server and if not done right can cause SEO and website problems. Only pursue this option if you plan to investigate it thoroughly. Search at Google for .htaccess URL rewrite redirects for mobile.

Testing Your Mobile Site Google Listing
It may take a few days for Google to update your search listings. After you do some of the above updates, you'll want to check your website in Google mobile searches on a smartphone (be sure you have setup and configured a Google Tools account). Search for your exact company or website name. Look at the Google results. You will probably see your top level domain as the first listing, however, more importantly see what "sitelinks" that Google has created for your website.

"Sitelinks" are sub links that Google will list right after what they consider the most relevant page on your site. If one of the "sitelinks" simply says "Mobile Site" this means that Google now specifically sees your mobile website (in the mobile folder) and has given the "sitelink" the correct name. To try and explain better, your mobile version site inside the "mobile" folder may have the meta page title you gave it ( <title>Your Company Name</title> ) but Google has renamed your title "Mobile Site" in the sitelinks. These are the results you will want to attain and does not mean in normal keyword searches that Google will rename your mobile page title.

Now do some searches for keywords related to your products on your smartphone and see if your mobile pages are listing before your desktop webpages. If not check the above tips on this page and make more changes if necessary. This is only to test if your mobile pages list better than your desktop pages on smartphones, and not to check how you list against your competition. If you want to list higher than the competition see Optimizing Your Webpages For Search Engines.

Keep in mind that making your website *more* mobile compliant will not improve your mobile ranking. Mobile compliance does not work on a scale. Google either sees your website as mobile friendly or not mobile friendly and then ranks your site according to your website content and backlinks.

Check all of the above steps. Each one is an important factor that can help point Google to your mobile version website for smartphone searches. If you make changes, it may take a few days or even weeks before Google can recognize and respond to the changes.