Google and Bing have just recently revealed their preference when it comes to mobile search; it’s more beneficial to operate under one URL. However, mobile SEO is not exclusively based around this principle of responsive design.
One URL. One Message.
Responsive design refers to the smooth transference of a website across various devices (PC, mobile, tablet etc). Search engines generally favour this and the use of CSS does allow a cleaner and more integrated operation on each device.
With identical content being used across all the different devices the assumption is that users keyword search intent willalso be consistent across these devices. No mobile SEO adjustment?
Making Mobile SEO
Take for example a user operating their smartphone from a remote location. You’d want to know if there is a difference between how the user searches for a product or service from that location, as opposed to how they would search for that product or service from their desktop. For some products the user’s mobility dictates a change in their keyword search.
This is where mobile SEO comes to the fore. Users are approaching websites from a different angle and it’s about getting into the mind-set of the mobile searcher by finding that angle. This demands a complete reworking of keyword research, page design and calls to action. When manipulating content and design for mobile use one of the most important mobile SEO tactics is to account for these mobile-specific keywords by creating unique Meta Titles and Descriptions.
The “RESS method” – Responsive Design plus Server Side components is a work in process by a developer and refers to the fact that HTML can be adjusted behind the responsive design to make it unique to each user-agent.
Google explains how it might not be immediately apparent that the mobile content is “hidden”, thus for mobile SEO purposes Google requests that servers hint to them directing the Googlebot-Mobile to crawl the mobile site as well. Although to some this method may appear to resemble black-hatted cloaking, however in this instance Google has deemed it perfectly acceptable.
You’ll see very few people sitting on a park bench, in a train station or waiting for a friend at a coffee shop without a smartphone in hand. Smartphone users strive to have as much access to information from a several-inch device as they do from their desktops. The smartphone/tablet user often thinks/searches differently when on the run. If this happens to be the case, you wouldn’t be stupid in believing that smart SEO means mobile SEO.