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Should a website built with responsive design include Google's <mobile:mobile/> xml tag in its sitemap.xml? In other words, will marking each of my urls as "mobile" in the sitemap for a responsive site indicate to Google that these urls are not desktop friendly (when, in fact they are)? What is the best practice in terms of sitemaps for responsive sites? One sitemap with <mobile:mobile/> in each <url>? Two identical sitemaps, one containing <mobile:mobile/>, and the other not? One sitemap without <mobile:mobile/>?

  • Responsive design is not necessarily a mobile site though a mobile site can be responsive. Responsive designs are intended to, generally speaking, avoid having a separate mobile site. This feature is for a separate mobile site. If you do not have a separate mobile site, then you you do not have to create a mobile sitemap. – closetnoc Jan 8 '15 at 23:46
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Google seems a little fuzzy about it, but I would say no, you shouldn't mark responsive pages as mobile.

The page you linked to states:

A Mobile Sitemap can contain only URLs that serve mobile web content. Any URLs that serve only non-mobile web content will be ignored by the Google crawling mechanisms.

Taking this exactly as written, it could mean that all URLs in your mobile sitemap must be formatted for mobiles (which they are), but technically they could be simultaneously formatted for desktop too.

But I think the implication is that the URLs should be only for mobiles and not responsive.

The fact is, Google detects responsive sites perfectly well, so if those URLs are in a standard XML sitemap it knows they work fine on both mobile and desktop.

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