Head of Google Web Spam, Matt Cutts, made it clear here in this video that responsive design poses no threat to SEO efforts. When it comes to linking and PageRank, responsive design will create no block and duplication of efforts. Impacts on them will be equally same as achievable from having separate mobile URLs.
Do Google’s announcements, guidelines and recommendations stand up to his words? For last few months, tons of recommendations from Google are pouring into the web in support of using responsive web design. If you are not using it, you may use device-specific HTML- as recommended by Google.
This search engine titan is a fan of creating confusions. In the same manner, it is alleged by many that Google has gone some more extra miles in this regard! Really? Check out the official recommendations of Google here . We were advised on how to build websites which work best for the users and at the same time work for the Google also.
In 2011, Google then announced that its Googlebot could identify Smartphone content with the aid of its mobile crawler- a new user-agent, which was developed to dig out Smartphone-optimized pages and detect mobile content. Irony! Google first introduced technology to dig and ditch, and then introduced solutions on how you should build your mobile sites.
Google Recommendations- Three Methods for Smartphone Mobile Website Design:
· Create Responsive Design, which means it should serve all devices on the same set of URLs. Each of them should have the same HTML and applicable to all devices. Simple change in CSS is allowable as to how the page is rendered on the device. Website configuration is dealt here.
· Websites which dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML and CSS depending on whether the consideration of user agents using a desktop or a mobile device.
· Websites which have distinctive desktop and mobile sites.
Among all of their recommendations tops the recommendation for their responsive web design approach. It recommends to use CSS3 media queries. By using it can be possible to alter the way page renders on mobile devices. Now doing it, you will get one URL, one content, one HTML code but CSS media queries to specify which CSS rules apply for the browser displaying the page. .
As advantage, you will have single URL which can make it easier for your users to interact with the page and enable Google’s algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content! Google will then have to crawl a single page instead of crawling different pages for similar contents.
Pondering over having a dynamic serving configuration? Look then to Vary HTTP header as recommended by Google. It will then give Google the hint that the content and CSS may change on the basis of user agent. Why is header useful? It is for caching purposes, while it can also be used in this situation to communicate the content has changed on the basis of user agent. Here, it will be used as indexing and crawling signal for Googlebot-Mobile. Consult with Google Developers Page and learn from them on how to implement that solution.