Separate Mobile Sites

A separate mobile version of a website will generate an additional URL for the site, typically this is and allows the website to be responsive on a mobile device. However, there are a number of issues which can arise when using a separate mobile site, we cover these within our Hangout Notes, along with insights and recommendations from Google.

Mobile Pages Should Be Equivalent to Desktop Pages

October 18, 2016 Source

Mobile versions of pages should be equivalent to the desktop pages, with the same functionality and main visible content, but the layout can be different.

Mobile Pages should be Equivalent to Desktop

July 29, 2016 Source

Desktop and mobile pages have to fulfil the same purpose and contain equivalent content, but there isn’t currently any ranking impact as Google is only really checking to see if the mobile page can be returned.

Redirect Deprecated Mobile Sites

July 8, 2016 Source

If you want to remove a mobile site because you now have a responsive site, you should ideally redirect to manage bookmarks for users, but Google doesn’t really care as they’ll drop the mobile URLs when they recrawl the desktop URLs without the mobile rel tag.

Mobile Sites Don’t Need Sitemaps

May 17, 2016 Source

Separate mobile sites should be canonicalising to the desktop page, so you don’t need to submit them to Google via a Sitemap, but it’s still worth adding to Search Console.

Mobile Sitemaps Are Not for Smartphone Pages

November 21, 2014 Source

Mobile sitemaps are for feature phone pages only, not smartphone compatible pages. If you have smartphone URLs which are different to the desktop URLs, use a normal XML sitemap with rel=alternate.

Related Topics

Dynamic Serving Mobile Pages Mobile Interstitials Mobile-first Indexing AMP Responsive Design