Google’s Matt Cutts Recommends Mobile URLs

posted January 19th, 2011

Not sure Matt is the expert on mobile search indexing at Google, as he largely referenced the Japanese blog post, and the Japanese results seem to be more sophisticated than the US results, as they employ blended mobile ranking algorithms to prioritize mobile content. Nonetheless, if you haven’t seen Matt’s latest YouTube video, “Does indexing a mobile website create a duplicate content issues [sic]?“, be sure to check it out. He basically says there should be no duplicate content issues if you serve your mobile content to Googlebot Mobile and desktop content to Googlebot, which is also in Google’s new SEO Starter Guide. What’s interesting about the video is that Matt recommends m.*.com for usability purposes, and I’ve never seen anyone at the engines officially recommend creating mobile-specific URLs before. As I mentioned before, it is the most popular mobile URL option, but I know that some people are hesitant to create mobile URLs for fear of splitting link popularity.

Definitely worth a look. I doubt this will be the last word from the engines on mobile SEO, as for me there are a lot more questions that come out of this than answers. Nonetheless, it’s great to see Matt Cutts recognize that people are building mobile sites, and starting to tackle some of the SEO issues that arise from that.

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3 Responses to “Google’s Matt Cutts Recommends Mobile URLs”

  1. The m. is a good backup for mobile but would still prefer using that UA detection to render under the same URL using a mobile CSS with a mobile DocType, similar to how WPTouch does for WordPress CMS sites.

  2. You’re definitely not alone in that preference, Michael. I don’t think anyone has proven one way or the other that the m. with user agent detection is more or less effective than the desktop site with user agent detection, even though your preference makes sense in theory. Just thought it was interesting that someone as visible as Matt Cutts would recommend mobile URLs in an SEO video, especially when so many people believe that mobile URLs split link popularity. Looks like the “official” word is no. As I said, given how segmented Google is as a company, there may be yet another “official” word, but it is interesting that when Matt does come out and talk about mobile SEO, he actually recommends the mobile URLs that we’ve heard so many bad things about. Anyway, thanks for your comments. Good to see other mobile SEO enthusiasts around here.

  3. Lori Ulloa says:

    Although I think mobile stylesheets would be a good means of keeping collective in-links, a separate mobile user experience would be best to create a separate set of mobile key terms, mobile sitemap and no frills mobile user experience. This is why I’m an advocate of the mobile subdirectory and mobile browser detection. If things like “in-links to interior pages are good” and “display: none is considered deceptive to spiders” apply to the desktop Google algo, why wouldn’t they apply to mobile?