How to make your mobile store comply with Google
We get this question very often. It can be tricky given that Google doesn’t always disclose its secrets to its users, and they have been making lots of changes recently to their mobile policies. Then throw in their impending launch of Enhanced Campaigns, and it gets even trickier!
To help you out, here are the key things to pay attention to. Luckily, mShopper’s software automatically takes care of this for every one of its mStores.
- Google’s Options for Mobile Site Construction: Google recommends three ways to deliver a mobile shopping experience. All three are listed in this Google Developer post entitled “Building smartphone optimized websites”. Note that Option 1 is what’s known as Responsive Web Design and has major disadvantages for e-commerce sites in particular. It’s great for purely informational sites, but it has slow page load times and an inability to control the mobile site differently than the e-com site, two glaring drawbacks in producing a high-converting mobile website. As a result, mShopper uses Google’s Option 3 and then makes sure to obey Google’s mobile and SEO recommendations for correct redirect code deep-linking, page coding, and treatment of duplicate content. More specifically, Google says that with Option 3 you need to add code to your e-com and mobile sites to tell Google that the two sites are connected, avoiding the duplicate content penalty:
Add to e-com: <link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/page-1" > Add to mobile: <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/page-1" >
- Google’s Coding Recommendations: Google also encourages mobile site builders to code the site so that its special mobile bot can crawl it easily. Example of these changes include adding the correct Doc Type, meta tag info, and submitting the correct mobile site map.
- Google’s Non-Mobile Penalty: Google will penalize you — in terms of both your PPC and organic rankings — if you send mobile traffic to a non-mobile optimized site. Just check out this AdWeek article entitled “Google pushing advertisers to build for mobile”
- Google’s Bad Redirect Penalty: Further, Google will penalize you if you send a person who clicks on an e-commerce SUB page to the HOME page of the mobile site. Your mobile redirect code must instead send shoppers to the correct sub page on the mobile site, be it one for a product, category, brand, or other. This was a June 11th Google Webmaster announcement entitled “Change in rankings of smartphone search results” that caught many mobile site builders off guard. From Google’s perspective, which is also the shopper’s perspective, it makes sense – – shoppers will get frustrated if they click a mobile search result (on an e-com site) for a specific red dress and instead get redirected to the mobile site’s home page, or some other page, and have to re-do their search.mShopper has always provided its clients with 5 different mobile redirect codes (for home page, brand page, category page, product page, and other pages) to comply with Google’s news and make sure mobile shoppers find their intended items as fast as possible.
- mShopper’s Google Relationship: mShopper’s very close partnership with Google has helped us stay on top of the best practices for avoiding Google penalties and maximizing SEO!
Contact mShopper is you have any questions about how our mStores comply with Google’s recommendations. We’re happy to help!
–mShopper’s Google SEO Team