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SEO - why doesn't google like the mobile view  RSS feed

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Google has been emphasizing mobile friendliness lately. If you look at our site on Page Speed Insights, you can see that Google recognizes we do in fact have a mobile view and scores it well. It's cool that you can click on tabs to see the mobile view and main view.

However, Google's mobile friendly tester doesn't pick up on the mobile view. So scores us low because the main page isn't mobile friendly. Any ideas on how to get the mobile friendly tester to recognize our mobile view?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Having done a bunch of research, I learned that the Google mobile usability test (which we fail) uses GoogleBot and honors the robots.text. Google page tester uses another approach that actually sees the mobile view.

Our mobile detection approach is old. That might be the cause.

I also learned you can specify the mobile URL in the sitemap which I'll look into as well.

Any other ideas are welcome.
 
Andrew Polansky
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Old mobile detection approach sounds like the issue.

What I would do, is to setup a mobile version of coderanch.com under m.coderanch.com subdomain. Then I would setup redirecting of mobile devices to m.coderanch.com on the server-side.

On this website you can find a bunch of scripts for mobile detection. There is no Java version, but all of those scripts is just a simple regular expression check against visitor user-agent. Should take no more than 5 minutes to rewrite one of those scripts to Java.

You can also do client-side redirection using their JavaScript version.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Adam Scheller wrote:On this website you can find a bunch of scripts for mobile detection. There is no Java version, but all of those scripts is just a simple regular expression check against visitor user-agent. Should take no more than 5 minutes to rewrite one of those scripts to Java.

The JSP one is like Java . It looks like a hard to read reg exp though. Which means hard to maintain.

The idea is good though. I found UA Detector which looks promising. I'm going to give it a shot. It hasn't been updated in almost a year, but neither has detectmobilebrowsers.com. UA Detector was updated in github three months ago.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Digging through the code I found another problem:



Now to go talk to the other mods about what is in trac...
 
Andrew Polansky
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Indeed this UA Decetor looks better, it is worth to give it a try.

By taking a look on the code you posted it seems that the problem with the Google Bot can be rather easily fixed, but it will be still worth to update the entire mobile detection for some more modern approach.

By the way, I found a list of user agents used by Google crawlers. It may be helpful in fixing the issue.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Issue now fixed in production. While I'm sure the thing that fixed it is getting rid of the logic to treat bots as non-mobile, I did take the opportunity switch to the UA Detector library and add the mobile link to our sitemap.

Have a cow for your help.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Thank you for your help.
 
Andrew Polansky
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What a nice surprise with the cow, thank you very much!

I've just Googled for the Code Ranch forum from my smartphone. Have you added "/mobile/" in the URL for the mobile version? I am not sure if I saw that before. I see URLs with "/mobile/" in the URLs in the Google search results, but without "mobile-friendly" annotation.

 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Adam Scheller wrote:I've just Googled for the Code Ranch forum from my smartphone. Have you added "/mobile/" in the URL for the mobile version? I am not sure if I saw that before. I see URLs with "/mobile/" in the URLs in the Google search results, but without "mobile-friendly" annotation.

Not really. For a long time, we've two URLs in the head section of the page:



The /mobile one forces the mobile view. The other depends on your settings.

I don't know why the mobile friendly label doesn't show up. Pages are now showing up as mobile friendly in the tester.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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One minute of research implies you don't get the mobile friendly annotation if you have another annotation. In our case, we have the # posts one. But at least Google agrees we are mobile friendly in the tester now!
 
Andrew Polansky
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That makes sense, nice find.
 
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