I've recently added a mobile version of a web-app. Most web-page URL's like mydomain.com/folder/page now have another version mydomain.com/mobile/folder/page

In the web-page I've added:

  <link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="/mobile/folder/page" />

And in the mobile version:

  <link rel="canonical" href="/folder/page"/>

This was done a couple of weeks ago, and still if I perform a site:mydomain/mobile I'm not seeing Google has indexed any of these mobile version pages.

Will adding a mobile site-map resolve this issue?

  • 1
    I'm pretty sure if you have added the rel links and canonical links as mentioned, then you won't see your mobile version of the site in Google normal index - And this is expected, this is one of the results of using the canonical tag. – Max Jul 26 '13 at 12:27

Using a sitemap specific to your mobile content will help Google crawl and index URL's for mobile content. This should be a separate sitemap from your non-mobile content, as stated by Google here.

A sample mobile sitemap supplied by Google is:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
 <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"

As indicated in the above, mobile sitemaps contain URL's with the tag <mobile:mobile/>, which according to Google, if missing may cause your mobile URL's not to be crawled properly.

See this Google Webmaster Tools help document for more information on creating mobile sitemaps: Adding mobile URL information to a Sitemap

Also see the following Google Webmaster Blog on how to Help Google index your mobile site. As covered in that, it's important to make sure the Googlebot-Mobile user-agent isn't being blocked, either in your robots.txt or web server's configuration.


Adding a mobile sitemap won't hurt anything, though as you have canonical tags pointing to the desktop version of the pages then you won't see proper index stats in Webmaster Tools. Also, the site:search might be showing no pages because they have already been consolidated into the desktop versions. Your log files would show if Google had crawled these pages and also fetch as Googlebot in Webmaster Tools should let you know if there are any access problems.


John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, stated in April 2015:

you don't need - and shouldn't have! - a mobile sitemap if your site doesn't have a feature-phone (WAP/WML, etc) version. If your site is responsive and works well on smartphones, that's enough for us

If you employ a mobile site on a subdomain with same content, pointing to its desktop canonical url helps the crawlers consolidating ranking signals. Though as of this statement, an additional sitemap would be of no use.


If you have added rel="canonical" on your mobile pages, these would never get indexed.

  • I understand that now, but that's still the right way to do it, right? (although I shouldn't expect to seem the mobile pages indexed) – Noam Nov 20 '14 at 22:31

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