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Google supports smartphone-optimized sites in three configurations
Under "Dynamically serving different HTML on the same URL", the article then goes on to highlight the two important implications of the Vary HTTP header, which are that...
Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex"
Header [condition] set|append|merge|add|unset|echo|edit header [value] [replacement] [early|env=[!]variable]
Under your theory, do you believe that our particular situation warrants the use of the Vary HTTP header?
Redirects and the HTTP Vary header
Please note that if your site automatically redirects mobile visitors coming to the desktop site to the mobile site, or vice versa, please be sure to configure your server to include the Vary HTTP header as described on this page [developers.google.com].
Please note that if your site automatically redirects mobile visitors coming to the desktop site to the mobile site, or vice versa, please be sure to configure your server to include the Vary HTTP header
A common issue is redirecting users to irrelevant pages. For example, if a user visits example.com/article29, your website should redirect them to the equivalent mobile-optimized page, such as m.example.com/article29, instead of to the m.example.com homepage. This makes sure that incoming links and users' bookmarks work across devices
Also, we suggest giving users a way to override the redirect policy
we do not have any preference and recommend that webmasters consider their users
Did I say anything about caching? I think that was a different thread.
The "Vary" header is only important to search engines when you're serving different content from the same URL.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:55 pm (utc) on May 3, 2013]
...there's a lot of different user agents, and I can certainly understand if somebody like Akamai would say, 'well, if there's 600 user agents, we don't want to save 600 copies of this page'....
...it's still a good idea, if you have a website, to try to send that information along so that the various caches between you and the user can try to do something smart.
...in terms of Google indexing, it's not apparent to us whether a URL can return different content based on the user agent, and so we actually do look at the HTTP Vary header in order to help us assess whether a page might be targeted both to desktop and to mobile.
...it's kind of a complicated issue.
It has been suggested that if some of the pages on my site change for mobile users, but some don't, google will not like me having a " Vary HTTP header"