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The Best Way to Deal with Duplicate Content for SEO

The Best Way to Deal with Duplicate Content for SEO. Duplicate content can hurt SEO and ranking. So, you may lose traffic. So, fixing the issue of duplicate content is an essential part of SEO. There are several ways to fix the issue. The best way is not to create it intentionally. But, the problem is your site may contain duplicate content even if you did not create it intentionally. And Google may discover it easily beyond the way you think.  So, before publishing content, checking your site with an effective tool is the smart way to eliminate or fix duplicate content. How to deal with them depends on the type of duplicate content your site contains. This article will help you understand the meaning of duplicate content, the reasons for its existence on your site, and the ways to fix the issue. Let me explain first the meaning of duplicate content. What is Duplicate Content? Duplicate content means the content of a  webpage that's similar to the content of other location(s) or UR

Mobile SEO: How to Optimize Your Blog for Smartphones

Mobile SEO: How to Optimize Your Blog for Smartphones.

Mobile SEO is an attempt to get optimized a blog/website for smartphones and tablets to improve users' experience (UX). 

The purpose of mobile optimization is to ensure that mobile users have an optimized experience for their mobile devices.

It enables your site to fit in all screens- smartphones, tablets, and desktops. In other words, you need to design your site for small screens like iPhones and androids.

Best Mobile SEO Guide

Mobile optimization is essential, irrespective of the type of your site. Usually, website design, structure, page speed/load time are considered to ensure a quality mobile user experience.

With the increasing trends of mobile searches, Google and other search engines are using innovative techniques for providing better results to the users.

Those who are regular readers of techazu will have noticed that the articles related to on-page SEO on this site have shed light on mobile optimization. 

''SEO Guides for Beginners'' is one of them.

In this separate article, I will describe the important aspects of mobile SEO. Mobile devices usually refer to smartphones and include tablets. 

If your website is already well-optimized for search engines, you may need to make a few additional changes when optimizing for mobile. 

This article is a smart guide for all smart bloggers, new as well as experienced. If you are struggling to optimize your site for mobile devices, this content will surely help you solve your problems.

Responsive Design is the best way to perform mobile optimization, although alternative methods are there. 

I'll come to this point. Before that, I'd like to tell you something about what mobile SEO is and why mobile optimization is so important. 

Table of Contents

  • What is Mobile SEO?                                    
  • Why Mobile Optimization is Important?          
  • How to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices.
  • Mobile-Friendly Sites-Best Practices & Tips.    
  • Take Away                                                   

What is Mobile SEO?

Mobile SEO means Search Engine Optimization for mobile devices. It is the
process of optimizing your site and resources thereon to achieve a better ranking on SERPs.

Google has given priority to the Mobile-First Index a few years ago. But, still today, many sites are not mobile-friendly.

Although mobile devices usually mean smartphones and tablets, Google doesn't include tablets, meaning only smartphones are considered.

It is important to note that all SEO-optimized sites may not be optimized for mobile. And Google reviews the mobile-friendliness of each individual page.

So, apart from the site as a whole, you need to focus on optimizing all the pages/ resources.

When we talk about mobile search, Google comes in the first place as billions of users use this search engine daily to carry out their searches. The recent statistics show 95.25% of all mobile searches are done by Google.

Why Mobile SEO Is Important?

This section will help you understand why a mobile-friendly site is a must for each business owner, irrespective of the size of the organization.

It is undeniable that the future of the web is mobile. The increasing trend of mobile search especially on Google tells us your site will die at some point unless you focus on this significant SEO factor.

In the United States, 63% of Google organic search traffic originated from smartphones as of 2019.

There was a continuous increase in the use of smartphones and mobile searches over the last few years. Out of 200 plus Google Ranking Factors, mobile SEO is one of the most significant factors.

As of 2020, the total number of smartphone users was 3.5 billion worldwide that was an increase of 6.7% over the previous year.

According to Ahref, MOBILE- FIRST INDEX was announced by Google in the Q4 of 2016 and it was rolled out in the Q1 of 2018. As of March 2020, 70% of crawled sites were on mobile-first indexing.

So, it is an important task for every webmaster to make sure that their sites are optimized for mobile devices. 

Through Mobile SEO, you can make sure that the loading speed of your site is optimal and the web pages are clearly displayed on the small screen.

Mobile SEO is necessary because of the different navigation systems of mobile devices. Compared to desktops, navigation of mobile devices have some limitations that include-

  • Instead of a mouse, navigation on mobile devices is carried out via touch screen and often through voice command. 
  • Most mobile devices have a much smaller display screen than desktops. 
  • Displaying Java or Flash on mobiles may not be possible or difficult.
  • Mobile users often use a slower internet connection. 

So, without mobile optimization, you'll not be able to satisfy the users of mobile devices.

Furthermore, through effective smartphone optimization, you can increase organic traffic and improve the page rank on SERPs.

How to Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices

Usually, there are 3 methods of making your site mobile friendly namely, Separate mobile Version, Dynamic Serving, Responsive Design.

Choose the best from those 3 different variants. Google supports all three configurations but not recommends all. 

I'm going to discuss each configuration here. Read carefully each variant with its advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Separate Mobile Version

As per this method of configuration, you've to create a separate mobile version of your site. This means you've URLs for each page-one is for the desktop version and the other is for the mobile version.

When users access your site from mobile devices, they are redirected to the mobile version.

One website with two URLs! you may think it funny but managing this is difficult.

This configuration is complicated and has many disadvantages including the issue of duplicate content.

Another drawback is Google is unable to identify the URL for each version automatically. So you need to inform Google via adding HTML tags for each version. 

In the HTML code of the desktop version, rel=alterne tag is used and a canonical link is added to the mobile version. Through these tags, you inform Google, so that it can detect the right URL for the specific version. 

Brian Dean of Backlinko said it's the worst way of configuration.

          Mobile optimization, separate URLs.Image credit- Backlinko

  • Dynamic Serving
The next option is the Dynamic Serving configuration. A page with Dynamic Serving explains how to serve different for different user agents. It is better than the separate URLs variant.

Why it is better?
The URL of your site will remain unchanged if you choose this option. But still, there are lots of disadvantages exist. 

According to Google, this is a type of setup where the server responds with different HTML and CSS depending on which user agent or device requests the page.

In this setup, your mobile content will remain hidden when Googlebot crawls the desktop version of the content. Make sure that server sends a hint to requests that the bot for smartphone crawls your using the Vary HTTP header.

Dynamic Serving mobile configuration
Dynamic Serving mobile configuration-Image credit-Google

What you've learned about this configuration?

✅Although the URL is the same, The HTML/CSS codes for different versions are different.

This means Dynamic Serving serves separate codes for each version on the same URL.

This configuration has some drawbacks.

✅ A vary header is important to tell Google that different content will be served on different user agents.

  • Responsive Design

Responsive web design able to adapt to various types of devices with different screen sizes.

This is the best and Google recommended configuration. Responsive design is easy to configure. In this setup, the server sends the uniform HTML code to all devices.

This means URL and HTTP Code both are the same for desktop and mobile versions.

The main advantage of this option is that Google can automatically detect this setup and can adjust the display according to the screen size of different smartphones. 

You don't have to inform Google separately. Just check if you have the meta viewport tags in the head of your webpage:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

If the meta viewport tag is missing, just add it. Specifying a viewport using the viewport meta tag is important as users use various devices with different screen sizes.

Responsive- designed website use CSS3 media queries to serve the same content to smartphone and desktop version that can automatically adapt to the different sizes of screen.

According to Quoracreative, over 50% of the sites use responsive design.

Use Responsive Design Checker for free responsive design test different devices.

Why Google Recommends Responsive Web Design?

Because of its manifold advantages that include the following:
  • It is easy to share and link your content by the users using a single URL.
  • Google can easily crawl and index your page without requiring any signal for crawling.
  • It reduces load time as it doesn't require any redirection for users to have a device-optimized result.
  • No repeated crawling by Googlebot is required. Instead of crawling multiple times by different Googlebot user agents, a single crawl by a single Googlebot user agent is required.
  • It minimizes common mistakes that can harm your site's optimization.

Mobile-Friendly Site- Best Practices & Tips

Improve Page Speed

Make sure that the mobile version of your site loads quickly. Users like to see you promptly without much waiting. Otherwise, they will be frustrated.

The page load time on mobile should be 3 seconds or fewer. Loading time 2s to 3s is good, and below 2s is excellent.

You can improve page speed by minimizing Javascript and plugins, optimizing heavy images and other elements that can affect your page speed badly.

How to measure the page speed for the mobile version?
Don't worry, there are free tools that help you measure the speed. Google PageSpeed Insights tool is the popular one. 

This tool helps you inform how quickly your page loads on desktop and mobile versions. It detects the issues if any, and recommends fixing all the issues.

You can use this alternative speed testing tool

Don't use a font size that is too small 

The font size of the text should be legible to your readers without forcing them to zoom. Forcing the users to zoom out for reading the page results in poor UX. 

It is difficult to say what is the optimal font size for androids or smartphones but I want to tell you never to use a font size more than 12px.

Use mobile-friendly popups

Obstructing popups increase the bounce rate because of poor UX. So this is an important aspect to be considered while optimizing your pages for the small screen.

Popups are used to collect the email addresses of the readers or for other CTA but these are boring and frustrating to the users, especially for smartphone users. 

Google says “intrusive interstitials” as they block most of the content the readers want to read. 

You shouldn't use such types of popups that annoyed the users of smartphones as well as desktops. 

Google dislikes obstructing popups. Using those popups is against the guidelines of Google.

Make sure that the popups used on your site don't interfere with the experience of smartphone users.

Make sure that CSS and JavaScript are not blocked

Don't block image, CSS, and JavaScript using robot.txt or other ways. Disallowing the crawling of those resources can harm the optimal ranking of your page. 

Check your robot.txt file with the Google search console.

Use schema mark up/Structured data

Make sure that structured data for both versions are present on your site. Use the correct URL for structured data. Structured data is also known as schema markup. form of structured data provides additional information to Google.

Keep Learning: 

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Use AMP markup on your web pages. AMP markup helps load your page instantly on mobile devices. 

Although APM is not a direct Google ranking factor, its algorithm prefers it. So it can indirectly improve ranking.

It can increase the viewability of ads thus, increase the probability of blog monetization.

Compress Image

Use a compressed image with third-generation formats to boost the speed. 

You'll find an article on image optimization on this site, where I've explained every aspect of image SEO. 

Always use the optimized image as it can reduce the loading time of your page.

Video and animation

If you use embedded video or a fancy animation, use HTML5. The HTML5 video elements provide you a standard way to insert video or animated content on your web page.

Use Mobile-friendly Test

Use  Google's mobile-friendly test for each URL. Just enter the URL in the specified box and hit the ''TEST URL'' button.

Mobile-friendly test of Techazu's page

Take Away

You should take care of every aspect of optimizing your content for small devices like androids and iPhones. 

Focus on creating concise titles, small header images, short-length lines, and small paragraphs.

The efforts of mobile SEO will be successful when you can ensure that your site is easily accessible and readable on mobile devices.


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