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PC and mobile duplicate pages



2:48 pm on Sep 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I have a question how to best solve the problem with duplicate PC and mobile pages:

When I have the SAME content on both pages, but different layout, with different URLs then I should, as I know, use the canonical URL, which Google then uses for its index. But when I use the PC-page as the canonical and the user clicks it on the SERPs with his mobile then he gets not the desired mobile content and vice versa.

How can I solve this problem?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.



5:51 am on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

when I use the PC-page as the canonical and the user clicks it on the SERPs with his mobile then he gets not the desired mobile content and vice versa.

You can use the canonical link tag - and then you do not actually redirect to the canonical URL at all. You put the tag in the <head> section using this syntax:

<link rel="canonical" href="[the canonical URL goes here]">

If you do that for a dedicated mobile URL, it will be crawled by googlebot-mobile and handled appropriately. In other words, it won't show up in a regular web search but it still will show up on a mobile search.

An even better approach to sorting out mobile, smartphones, tablets, desktops (and who knows what other devices) is to develop your pages with what is called "responsive design". That's a huge topic, but an important one for this moment in the web's evolution, I believe.


1:16 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Tedster.

Perhaps I should have explained my problem in a more detailed fashion:

I work with a Wordpress mobile plugin which detects the user agent and displays then under the same URL different content using a different style sheet. Now I don't like the output of this plugin for a special page and therefore have to create a special mobile page under a different URL. Now the PC and mobile page have the same content but different URLs. Assuming that both pages appear in the proper SERPs, i.e. PC and mobile SERPs, does Google then consider both pages as duplicate content and degrades one of them?



2:33 pm on Sep 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

For two separate pages - one mobile and one non-mobile - use the cannonical tag as Tedster explains on the mobile page. On the non-mobile page include this tag:

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: nnnpx)" href="mobile url goes here">

nnn is the max width of the page which you want treated as mobile.

Also include a link from the mobile to the non-mobile page (and vice versa) to let the user control where they go if they want.

That seems to be the advice in the latest G article on the subject. It works for me (fingers crossed) with no duplicate problems - that solution has been in place on one of my sites for four months or so.


4:49 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

When it comes to code, I have to admit to being pretty lost... and I have to explain to a programmer exactly what I want them to do.

So.. for me and for anyone else who is more a marketer than a programmer, could someone please post two examples of the cannonical code assuming the site is sitename.com and the mobile site is m.sitename.com? Something I could copy, substitute my own site name in and then send to my programmer?

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