I'm testing the Schema.org Article schema on our site. The problem I encountered is that we serve our content over two different domains (one for desktop site.domain, and site.m.domain subdomain for mobile) and currently we serve the same JSON-LD for same article on both domains.

I tried to find an information where to link the url property. Do I point it to the current page including the mobile domain? Or do I always point to desktop domain (and the desktop domain has a logic to redirect you to mobile when you're on mobile device)?

The only thing I found is someone saying that the URL should point to one point on both domains (the desktop domain) as Google doesn't like duplicated content. But somehow it doesn't sound right to me - when you're on site XYZ, the URL most probably should point to XYZ.

What are the recommendations for the Google Search engine when it comes to the same content on multiple domains?


You say:

when you're on site XYZ, the URL most probably should point to XYZ.

However this is not quite accurate, as it misunderstands the semantic meaning of the url property in Schema.org structured data. For a Schema.org Thing (like an Article), the url property should always point to the same URL, because every Thing has exactly one preferred, or canonical, URL.

The short answer is that you should always use the desktop version of your page in structured data, because in your case the desktop version of the page is also the canonical version.

Canonical URLs

For each of your articles (and any URL on the internet), only one URL can be the canonical URL, and this rule applies the same to structured data as it does for "normal" web pages. The canonical URL is the URL that you want to show up in search engines and social media, the URL you want everyone to land on if they are entering your website, and the URL that you would prefer outside sources to link visitors to.

The mobile version of your article (site.m.domain) is separate from your canonical page - it is considered an alternate resource representation, and should be tagged to search engines as such:

Annotations for desktop and mobile URLs

To help our algorithms understand separate mobile URLs, we recommend using the following annotations:

  1. On the desktop page, add a special link rel="alternate" tag pointing to the corresponding mobile URL. This helps Googlebot discover the location of your site’s mobile pages.

  2. On the mobile page, add a link rel="canonical" tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL.

Annotations in the HTML

On the desktop page (http://www.example.com/page-1), add:

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/page-1">

and on the mobile page (http://m.example.com/page-1), the required annotation should be:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/page-1">

This rel="canonical" tag on the mobile URL pointing to the desktop page is required.

Separate URLs - Google Developers

Schema.org Structured Data

So what about Schema.org structured data? Basically, it should be treated using the same rules above.

The url field of the structured data has effectively the same semantic meaning as the canonical tag - it describes the most unambiguous representation of a Thing. If a crawler needs any alternate resource representations, it will be able to visit your canonical url and parse them from your link rel="alternate" tags. So the solution is to always use your desktop page - the canonical page - in the structured data.

  • Thank you for the answer. Now it's clear to me how to proceed with the Schema.org structured data URLs. We use canonical urls on mobile site, but I wasn't sure if I need to apply same urls to the Thing url. – PolishDeveloper Nov 16 '18 at 17:34

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