[TUTORIAL] How To Create a Mobile Website Sitemap

by WillR
25 replies
It is important that you create a separate sitemap for all your mobile website content. This way Google is able to distinguish between the two versions of your website (standard AND mobile) and you won't run the risk of being penalized for having duplicate content on the same domain.

Here are the simple steps to creating a Google Mobile Sitemap:

1. Download the attached sitemap.txt file.

2. Open the file in a standard text editor and insert all the urls of your mobile site.

3. Save the file as sitemap.xml instead of sitemap.txt

4. Upload the sitemap.xml file into your mobile website folder.

5. Add a link to your mobile sitemap on the homepage of your mobile site.

The link code would look something like this:
<a href="http://m.website.com/sitemap.xml">Sitemap</a>

* If you have Google Webmaster tools it is also a good idea to submit your new mobile sitemap there also.

Now when Google crawl the site they will find the mobile sitemap and know that this content has been designed specifically for mobile devices.

.
#create #mobile #sitemap #tutorial #website
  • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
    Hi Will,

    Thanks for the info.

    Is this necessary if you're not hosting the mobile site on the same domain? So far I'm selling my service as a monthly fee and I'm hosting their sites as a sub-domain on my domain.

    Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author cottonking2000
      Best practices is to host a mobile site on same domain. Bit make the mobile site m.yoururl.com

      When google hits it make the mobile google bot run the m.yoururl.com and the normal google bot run your normal site.

      There is a video from google on this. If you do it this way split the bots no penalty will take place.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

      Hi Will,

      Thanks for the info.

      Is this necessary if you're not hosting the mobile site on the same domain? So far I'm selling my service as a monthly fee and I'm hosting their sites as a sub-domain on my domain.

      Mike
      Mike,

      If you are going to be hosting a number of different mobile sites on the one domain then I would probably just leave it.
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      • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
        Originally Posted by WillR View Post

        Mike,

        If you are going to be hosting a number of different mobile sites on the one domain then I would probably just leave it.
        Yeah, that's the plan.

        I want to create a mobile directory on my domain with the sites I sell. Plus since I'm charging monthly, if they don't pay I can "turn off the switch" to their site if necessary.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheCG
      Mike,

      You think it is better to host all client's mobile sites on one of your own dedicated domains instead of putting them in a subdomain on the client's own site?

      Or do you do it this way purely to generate the monthly hosting fee?

      Just trying to look at all the different angles.

      Thanks,

      CG




      Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

      Hi Will,

      Thanks for the info.

      Is this necessary if you're not hosting the mobile site on the same domain? So far I'm selling my service as a monthly fee and I'm hosting their sites as a sub-domain on my domain.

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by TheCG View Post

        Mike,

        You think it is better to host all client's mobile sites on one of your own dedicated domains instead of putting them in a subdomain on the client's own site?

        Or do you do it this way purely to generate the monthly hosting fee?

        Just trying to look at all the different angles.

        Thanks,

        CG
        You set things up this way in order to have control over the site and charge your customers a monthly hosting fee. Obviously you can't charge them hosting if they install the site on their own hosting. If they wish to install the site on their own/current hosting then they can purchase the site at a higher one-time payment.

        This type of setup allows you to offer the mobile sites for free or at a much cheaper price with the view of receiving ongoing monthly hosting payments.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheCG
          Got 'cha.

          Assuming you did an entire package for this client and would be hosting his primary site, would you still host the mobile on your own dedicated domain or would you throw it in on a subdomain of his main site?



          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          You set things up this way in order to have control over the site and charge your customers a monthly hosting fee. Obviously you can't charge them hosting if they install the site on their own hosting. If they wish to install the site on their own/current hosting then they can purchase the site at a higher one-time payment.

          This type of setup allows you to offer the mobile sites for free or at a much cheaper price with the view of receiving ongoing monthly hosting payments.
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        • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          You set things up this way in order to have control over the site and charge your customers a monthly hosting fee. Obviously you can't charge them hosting if they install the site on their own hosting. If they wish to install the site on their own/current hosting then they can purchase the site at a higher one-time payment.

          This type of setup allows you to offer the mobile sites for free or at a much cheaper price with the view of receiving ongoing monthly hosting payments.
          Thanks for the info Will. I have one quick question in regards to hosting mobile sites on your own host. Do you use reseller hosting and have each site hosted separately, or do you use one domain and use subdomains for each mobile site?

          If you use the subdomain approach, have any businesses you've run into been concerned about branding? Let's say you have "Georgia Carpet Cleaners" as a biz name and their domain is georgiacarpetcleaners.com. Wouldn't it look odd if the mobile web address was georgiacarpetcleaners.xyzmarketing.com? I don't know if that's how you set them up or not, but I'm just wondering how that works.

          I like the idea of charging a smaller fee upfront with a residual hosting fee each month. Like you said, you get more control and a guaranteed payment each month. Heck, you could even toss in the agreement that the business has the right to buy control outright for "x amount of dollars" if they want to do things themselves down the road. Would be a nice way to make a little extra money, rather than have them cancel altogether (if they did for any reason down the road).
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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by bhuff85 View Post

            Thanks for the info Will. I have one quick question in regards to hosting mobile sites on your own host. Do you use reseller hosting and have each site hosted separately, or do you use one domain and use subdomains for each mobile site?

            If you use the subdomain approach, have any businesses you've run into been concerned about branding? Let's say you have "Georgia Carpet Cleaners" as a biz name and their domain is georgiacarpetcleaners.com. Wouldn't it look odd if the mobile web address was georgiacarpetcleaners.xyzmarketing.com? I don't know if that's how you set them up or not, but I'm just wondering how that works.

            I like the idea of charging a smaller fee upfront with a residual hosting fee each month. Like you said, you get more control and a guaranteed payment each month. Heck, you could even toss in the agreement that the business has the right to buy control outright for "x amount of dollars" if they want to do things themselves down the road. Would be a nice way to make a little extra money, rather than have them cancel altogether (if they did for any reason down the road).
            I've always just charged lump sum for the mobile site. I would only ever offer that hosting option if they did not want to pay the whole fee upfront. The businesses you are approaching already have hosting and a domain so there is no logical reason for them to pay you money to host their mobile site when they have their own hosting already available.

            The only time it makes sense is if they would rather pay off the site over time in the form of hosting charges. In this instance you don't give them control of the site. If you are concerned about branding then host the site on your server but purchase them an exclusive .mobi domain for their business. It only costs 8 or 9 bucks. This will also help retain that customer for longer since you are in control of their mobile domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author known
    Will,

    This is great. You are truly providing valuable information here.

    Many are just beginning their journey here and it's great they've got you as a guide.

    Cheryl
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  • Profile picture of the author markjob
    Thank you WillR. This has come at a perfect time. Im just about finished with my daytime jobs mobile site and i was just going to google this very subject, time saver !!

    Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil B
    Great Will...If anyone is using Wordpress I've posted a link to a free WP mobile sitemap plugin on Quentins Free Mobile Resources thread...hope it's ok to mention that here?

    Neil B
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    what you have to remember though unless your site validates to XHTML MP google will completely ignore the contents of your mobile site map and will list your pages in with the rest of regular desktop websites and have it competing in the regular serps....

    the only difference adding a mobile site map makes if your site does validate - is that it will include a nice little green mobile phone icon next to your listing on google search for non smart phone devices... it will not be "highlighted" in google search for smartphones...

    even listed in google search for mobile non smartphones it will not necessarily rank any higher than the other "regular desktop" sites that come up in the serps...

    i really wish google would identify mobile websites to both smartphone users and not just non smartphone users!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Travis
    Will,

    Is it required to have a sitemap link on your mobile site? I most definately agree you need a sitemap.xml file in your mobile directory, but do you need the link on the site itself?

    Thanks,

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by Michael Travis View Post

      Will,

      Is it required to have a sitemap link on your mobile site? I most definately agree you need a sitemap.xml file in your mobile directory, but do you need the link on the site itself?

      Thanks,

      Michael
      Michael,

      The link is simply to help Google find the sitemap. You can submit the link through Google Webaster tools if you use it but if you don't, then I would suggest having a link to the sitemap somewhere on the mobile site so search spiders can easily find it.
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  • Profile picture of the author acethegunnerzzz
    thank you so much for the tutorial...
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  • Profile picture of the author Scitknot9
    Will,

    You are a legend, always providing great, useful info on this forum - along with many others!

    I for one truly appreciate all the help you guys give!

    Scott

    Originally Posted by WillR View Post

    It is important that you create a separate sitemap for all your mobile website content. This way Google is able to distinguish between the two versions of your website (standard AND mobile) and you won't run the risk of being penalized for having duplicate content on the same domain.

    Here are the simple steps to creating a Google Mobile Sitemap:

    1. Download the attached sitemap.txt file.

    2. Open the file in a standard text editor and insert all the urls of your mobile site.

    3. Save the file as sitemap.xml instead of sitemap.txt

    4. Upload the sitemap.xml file into your mobile website folder.

    5. Add a link to your mobile sitemap on the homepage of your mobile site.

    The link code would look something like this:
    <a href="http://m.website.com/sitemap.xml">Sitemap</a>

    * If you have Google Webmaster tools it is also a good idea to submit your new mobile sitemap there also.

    Now when Google crawl the site they will find the mobile sitemap and know that this content has been designed specifically for mobile devices.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author Michisor
    Thank you,
    I didn't know that we can have a site Map for mobile, so this info is priceless for me
    Michaela
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  • Profile picture of the author Youturn
    Question on step 5. How do you upload the mobile site map to your homepage? I'm currently using your templates. I'm a newbie trying to implement this with your program. Could you tell me exactly where to place the site map link on the homepage file? Thanks, sorry for the stupid questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewGreen
    I added a mobile sitemap to my clients mobile website and it seems to be indexing my mobile website for desktop users.

    For example the main listing is as follows:

    Website Name
    page1 page2
    page3 page 4
    Page 5 Page 6

    Page 2 and 4 are mobile website pages. How would i get rid of those if i don't want desktop computer users navigating to them?

    Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author oildrops
      Very timely info on sitemaps. Thanks Will!

      I am at a loss as to how mobile sites are indexed.

      Google will probably find the sitemap first and index in google.com/m

      Are there ways to manually submit to search engines, directories, etc? and where?

      MikeR
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  • Profile picture of the author Microsys
    You submit mobile sitemaps the same way you submit standard XML sitemaps, i.e. in Google Webmaster Tools
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert X
    Hey Will,

    G'day mate! How'a the weather down unda? June gloom for us here in So Cal.

    Just one question here,, (i think),, 1. Is this stuff in your "My Mobile Business"?

    Oops,, also,, about the hosting and all that,, 2. Do you ONLY go after businesses that already have a site and hosting?

    Or, 3. Do you think it would be a good idea to supply the business with a NEW .mobi domain, keep control over it and charge a monthly fee?

    Sorry,, one more,, 4. And this would ONLY apply if there is a secondary site, correct?

    Oh,, and one more small question,, will you ever give some details as to how you RUN your business? I'm talkin' the inside story. for instance,, website? outsourcing? getting all that stuff set up. I think a lot of these wso's seem to forget that you gotta have a few things in order BEFORE you jam on it.

    Rock On , Will

    Thanks,
    Robert X
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