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Mobile Search Results

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As the world of mobile website matures, you should start wondering whether or not you will ever see your mobile website in the search results. If you haven't given it any thought then maybe you should, and if you haven't considered a mobile website yet then you should.

There are a lot of tricky techniques to setting up a mobile website. It's not as easy as it may seem.

For example, your web programmer can't simply set up a .mobi domain name and create a website that looks good on a cell phone. You actually need to make sure the web server sends the proper programming code to the cell phone, and that technique is actually pretty tough--most web hosting companies are clueless about it.

We could also say that setting up a mobile website is not as easy as buying a mobile website template and slapping it up at HostGator.com. Sure, it will look nice, but it won't be found in the SERPs.

The problem with mobile websites has to do with something called the "document type" which is used to tell the search engines that they are reading a real mobile website.

Unless you tell Google and Bing specifically "hey, this is a mobile website," they will simply read your mobile web pages as teeny-tiny (and useless) web pages. The typical web page should have at least 250 words on it, but a mobile web page is considered big if you put more than 100 words on it. This conundrum will cause mobile websites to be omitted from normal search since they are just too small.

On the other hand, if Google is correctly told that the "document type" is "mobile" then something different happens. Google will take the mobile website and index it in the mobile search. You can visit Google Mobile Search on your phone at http://m.google.com.

Once your mobile website is correctly indexed and available in the mobile search, it will also be available in the regular search. Although, don't be too hopeful about seeing it in the regular SERP because odds are there are many other non-mobile sites that are better qualified than a small mobile one.

So, as you prepare your mobile website you should ask your web host if they are correctly serving the document type for your mobile website. As a hint, you can check the source code for your mobile website and look for words like "XHTML Basic" and "xhtml+xml." Another clue is whether or not the mobile web pages end with .xhtml or something else. Without the XHTML your web host is probably lying to you, and they are clueless.
AT: 01/20/2011 10:22:46 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
Confused and worried about your mobile website options? Click here to find out how to get your own website evaluation and a game plan to make it better.

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