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Given that I'm using <link rel="alternate" href="http://m.example.com"> on my desktop site and <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com"> on mobile, is there any SEO reason for me to replace the mobile site and desktop site with a single responsive site?

If I keep my separate mobile site, is there anything else I should be doing to ensure optimal SEO?

Secondly, what is the most SEO-friendly way of redirecting example.com to m.example.com when a mobile user requests it? Javascript? Apache? Something else? Or are all these redirection approaches the same for SEO?

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There is no SEO benefits from having a responsive design. The only real way that it might be 'safer' is if you hadn't implemented the m.mobile version of site correctly, but it sounds like you have with rel="alternate", rel="canonical", etc.

Here is a recent video from Matt Cutts on the opposite version of you question: Is there an SEO disadvantage to using responsive design instead of separate mobile URLs?

But Just to counter that, here is a recent article that is against responsive design.

In Google's guidelines on Redirects and User-Agent Detections. they say you should use HTTP redirection or JavaScript redirects.

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In the link you've mentioned, clearly Matt bats for responsive design. –  AgA Dec 13 '13 at 5:04
    
He mentions that responsive site won't lose any SEO benefit, he doesn't actually say either is better. –  Max Dec 13 '13 at 8:33
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I think responsive design keeps the clutter less.

Secondly it saves the page rank too. For example a backlink to m.example.com/page.htm should not pass 100% link juice to www.example.com/page.htm unless Google says it does.

Also Facebook likes to m. pages will be different to that of the desktop version page.

Naïve users can get confused with m. version url's.

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