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I have a webiste with two different URLs for mobile and desktop. I linked everything with canonical and alternate tags and updated my sitemap.xml.

But the Google Search Console keeps throwing "Soft 404" Errors when testing most of the sites...

E.g. https://m.voyd.shop/kategorie/neu

The website automatically redirects the user to the desktop version, when the screen is wider than 700px.

Anybody knows the reason? There is definitely content and the URL did not change in month...

EDIT: Some pictures for better understanding:

This is the result when checking for the desktop version of my website: enter image description here

And this happens, when I apply for indexing the mobile version (Happens for weeks now...) enter image description here

My sitemap for mobile version can be found here: https://m.voyd.shop/sitemap.xml

UPDATE:

I changed everything according to Kannan's answer, but I am still getting this message when trying to check the Live-URL:

enter image description here

UPDATE 2: Just checked https://www.voyd.shop/kategorie/neu and still soft 404...

enter image description here

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  • I have added more observations to my answer. Please check.
    – Kannan
    Jun 30 at 13:03
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When I tried curl --head on your desktop page (URL in your screenshot), your server returns a 308 (permanent redirect) to the www version.

The desktop version of the URL that you are checking on Search Console is without www.

Google has no idea about what content could have existed in non-www page (if at all) before you placed a redirect to the www page. Hence, the redirect will be treated as a one to non-equivalent page. Thus you are receiving a soft 404.

Regarding mobile issues, I am unable to spot any serious issue other than having canonical client rendered (If I observed it correctly). The rendered source shows the correct canonical. The server-side rendered page (that Google sees at first) shows "undefined" in canonical. If that is the case, probably you should wait longer. (Ref: A similar issue is being discussed here: Google showing static title instead of dynamically set javascript title). Nevertheless, please make sure the canonical points to the www version.

Note: Why don't you have a single sitemap, thus making things easier for Google.

Reference: https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/separate-urls#annotation-in-sitemaps

UPDATE

In the search console, just make sure that your property is (or includes) www version of your website. While checking URLs in the inspection bar, you would be checking www. prefixed ones.

In sitemaps, update all desktop URLs with www. prefix.

Regarding sitemap location, one in the desktop folder alone will be sufficient. (For details, please check the reference URL I have posted above)

UPDATE:

In addition to the www issue (please check the first part of this answer), there seem to be more problems. Now soft 404 is thrown for the www version (where technically a 200 is returned). .

Here are my observations: (These points should apply to the mobile version's soft 404 issues as well)

The main part of the content is rendered client-side. To check the same, I turned off JavaScript and refreshed the URL. (I blocked JS for the site in chrome://settings/content/javascript). Now all I can see are the menu and footer (general template content).

Google can treat pages with minimal elements/content as soft 404s. Reference: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/soft-404-errors#pageother

I know Googlebot can process JavaScript, but the process can take time (sometimes in the order of weeks to months). Reference: What are the SEO implications of an established website shifting from server-side rendering to client side?

Solution

Either you can wait or turn your implementation server-side (the most preferable solution in my view). Based on what I read, Next JS supports SSR - Server Side Rendering.

My Doubt

Though I know Google takes a lot of time to process client-side rendered pages, I am unaware of whether Google will go to the extreme of treating the pages with minimal content at the initial crawl as soft 404s till its rendering process is complete. But from your case, it looks likely. If you have the same doubt, you may post that as a separate question (important if you stick with client-side rendering).

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  • I updated my project according to your suggestions. Unfortunately I still get the error message, when trying to do the Live-Test with "voyd.shop/kategorie/neu". Do I just need to wait a little bit longer for Google to recognize my changes and the removal of the mobile sitemap.xml? Or do I need to do any further changes in my domain property in Google Search Console? Thanks for your help! Jun 29 at 10:05
  • Of course I tried to check https:// www.voyd.shop/kategorie/neu (without the space). Webmasters removed the prefix in my previous comment. Jun 29 at 10:33
  • I hope the error was not soft 404 this time. What error did you get?
    – Kannan
    Jun 29 at 12:24
  • I updated my questions. A pop-up apperas, which says that the Live-URL could not be checked. Same message when trying to apply for indexing. Checking the mobile version of the page results in the same error message. Jun 29 at 13:24
  • From what I observe, the issue may be due to client side rendering. Google takes time (weeks to months in some cases) to process the client side rendered pages. Ref: developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/… . (When it comes to SEO, server side rendering is better in terms of time it takes for Google to process,)
    – Kannan
    Jun 29 at 14:07

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