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Planning for the Future of Mobile SEO

This is the year that many Internet marketers have been waiting for. 2010 is to be the banner year when online use on mobile phones became more popular than ever. Smartphones like the iPhone were the first, and were truly a ground-breaking invention. They set the stage for other smartphones such as the Android, which some say is even better than the iPhone. The number of mainstream users who are web browsing on their mobile devices has grown rapidly over the years, with more users today than ever before.


What does this mean for your web sites, and the SEO that you have painstakingly created for each of them. At this time, there is not much of an impact, but experts say that it is on the way. Google’s SEO, Eric Schmidt spoke at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, and stated that Google’s new strategy is to put mobile SEO first to prepare for the coming blitz. In order for you to be ahead of your competitors, you should start now to make your site attractive and accessible to mobile users.


The first thing you should do is build a mobile version of your site in a mobile subdirectory or subdomain. This works out much better than placing such a site in a TLD such as a .mobi or on a totally separate domain. Of course, you will want to provide the user the choice of opting out to the standard web version, while also rendering the mobile version of your web site via mobile user agent detection.


You will also want the mobile version of your site to have the following DocType declared above the HEAD code:  <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//WAPFORUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.0//EN”. Your SEO coding elements will always remain the same in the mobile version of your web site, but in order to improve the usability as well as reduce the chance of any duplicate content, you will want to take out any extra content, JavaScript, and graphics. The best way to do this is via CSS.


You’ll want your mobile site to load in half the time of a standard web site. Aim for a true target of less than 2 seconds load time when you have a Edge or a non-3G signal. It is also best to create a mobile sitemap XML whose main difference from your standard sitemap XML a <mobile:mobile/> declaration after each URL listing. More instructions for this can be found in Google Mobile Sitemap Instructions .


Finally, you will want to confirm the progress you have made on your mobile web page by using the tools located at W3C and also at MobiReady .


At this time, Google Mobile Search is almost identical to the standard web search, but there is a separate mobile index that will grow as time goes on, and will more than likely give users different results.

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