The URLs of desktop site and mobile site are separate. We have already done the SEO for desktop site and it works great. My question is, in this situation, do we need do these SEO improvement on mobile site as well?

Let's say we have two sites

We followed Google's direction as below

Annotations for desktop and mobile URLs

On the desktop page, we have an alternate link to equivalent mobile page, e.g.

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/show_product.php?item=123" />

And on the mobile page, we have a canonical link to equivalent desktop page, e.g.

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.com/products/product-name-123">

HTTP redirects

We use 302 to redirect our visitors to the mobile site if they are mobile devices.

As we finished these two steps, our desktop site is mobile friendly. Our company's web pages in Google mobile search result is showing 'Mobile-Friendly'. It seems both Mobile pages and Desktop pages are sharing same ranking.

Do we still need to do SEO for our mobile site? Such as

I just found this link https://developers.google.com/webmasters/mobile-sites/faq

I have a separate mobile website on m.example.com, while my desktop site is at www.example.com. What should I do with mobile pages on m.example.com that don’t have an equivalent desktop page on www.example.com?
It’s fine to have a mobile-only page without a desktop equivalent (just make sure these pages don’t include a rel="canonical" to a non-corresponding desktop version). Please be aware that mobile-only pages will need to build a reputation on their own (i.e., contain unique content, be well-linked from other pages on your site or the web) because they will not receive shared indexing signals from an existing desktop version of the page.

Does that mean, if a mobile page has a desktop equivalent, it will share reputation from existing desktop version? So we do not need do SEO for this mobile page?

  • If your site is not responsive and you essentially have two sets of pages, then yes.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 0:32
  • Read my answer. Commented Aug 13, 2016 at 16:58

5 Answers 5


There are a few different answers to your question so I'm going to answer it assuming 2 things are true:

  1. You're talking about non-visible SEO (i.e. description tags, open graph tags, Twitter card tags, etc.)

  2. The content on your mobile page is not drastically different from the content on your desktop page.

The answer is: yes, but not the same and not as much.

Let's say that we want to duplicate the SEO of a responsive page with these 9 tags:

  • 2 canonical tags (1 generic, 1 open graph)
  • 2 title tags (1 open graph, 1 Twitter card)
  • 3 description tags (1 generic, 1 open graph, 1 Twitter card)
  • 2 image tags (1 open graph, 1 Twitter card)

To do that, we need to do the following:

For the desktop page:

  1. Add a rel="alternate" tag to the desktop page that points to the mobile page.

For the mobile page:

  1. Add 2 canonical tags (1 generic, 1 open graph) that point to the corresponding desktop page.

The answer really depends on the design paradigm used.

If your desktop site and mobile site are two completely different sites/pages rather then one adaptive or responsive site which is just served across two domains and mobile version is not optimized then the answer is yes. You need to optimize them both.

  • Moved from answer to comments: "But I think you should add more details to your question so we don't have to speculate and can give you straightforward answer."
    – Zch
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 12:23
  • John R Perry's answer is much more detailed and complete then mine. Voted it up. Respect.
    – Zch
    Commented Aug 5, 2016 at 15:00

If you're using like m.domain Dotcom or domain Dotcom/mobile then it acts as an different website and you need to perform the mobile website optimisation separately.


Off course, the mobile site needs SEO it depends on upon the design functionality. Same like the desktop SEO performed you have to perform mobile SEO.


You should check the mobile and desktop seo status through page insights here


  • While using page speed insights is a good idea, this doesn't answer the question. Page speed insights won't say whether or not the pages have or need the same SEO factors. Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 10:50

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