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Googlebot Crawls the Mobile Web

Googlebot Crawls the Mobile WebGoogle's Gone Mobile

 

Earlier last month, Google had announced that they have added a smartphone user agent to their existing feature phone user agent. This means that the Googlebot-Mobile is now crawling mobile sites regularly.

According to Google, “This is to increase our coverage of smartphone content and to provide a better search experience for smartphone users.”  We think that this means that the crawler will be able to identify sites specifically optimized for mobile devices and redirect users where applicable.

If you’re a website owner or webmaster, you are probably wondering how a change such as this may affect you going forward. Chances are good that you get a huge percentage of your traffic from Google’s search results. You may have some top ranking keywords that could be affected. You may be wondering how you can use this new update to your advantage. Here is the link to the announcement so that you can read the specific details on your own.

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/12/introducing-smartphone-googlebot-mobile.html

One of the biggest changes that this update brings about is the way your site gets indexed. In the past, it may have been difficult to optimize a site for both desktop computer users and mobile device users. With this update, both the normal site and the mobile site will be indexed separately. This means that you can create two individual pages for each browser type and optimize them flawlessly for each viewer demographic.  Here are a few points to take note of:

 

  • If you are using a mobile device to browse Google, you will automatically be served the mobile version of sites within the Google search results.
  • If a redirect to a mobile version is used, the search results will display the link to the mobile version instead of the normal version of the site. This will increase page load time by up to one second by removing the latency of the redirect.
  • The search results that will be served to you on a mobile device are now dependent on the type of device in addition to the search terms that have been used.

Mobile Means New Opportunities

 

This can give webmasters the opportunity to significantly increase their Adwords Quality Score in addition to their Page Rank. The separate indexation of standard and mobile sites allow for super optimization. Since this change has been announced only a few weeks ago, there aren’t any specific optimization guides to note just yet.
The point of all of this is that creating a website that modifies itself for a smartphone or mobile device is definitely a good idea. When you have a specified URL for desktop users and a separate one from mobile device users, you can better manage user experience for the types of visitors that are sent to you from Google. This will certainly cut down on advertising expenses, increase your relevance within the SERPS, and allow you to split test more efficiently.
Keep an eye on the Google Webmaster Central blog for updates within the next few weeks.