Mobile site seen as duplicate content

11 replies
I am building mobile websites as a business and have just got started, but I was asked today by a webmaster to remove a mobile site for a client I had built on a sub-domain of my domain e.g customer.mydomain.com (which is where it is hosted using CMS), because he said there does not appear to be a robots.txt on this sub-domain, effectively meaning it could be inadvertently crawled by Google and be seen as duplicate content and damaging to their existing domain.

The content within the mobile site was exactly the same as their own domain (hisdomain.com), just on my sub-domain (customer.mydomain.com)

Is anyone able to let me know more about this so I am in a position to answer? Is he correct?
#content #duplicate #mobile #site
  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    As as I understand, Google WANTS to know that a business has a mobile site. So if you do a redirect properly, I doubt if they are going to count it as duplicate content.
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    • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
      Google has made it very clear that you need to have a mobile version of your site. Here is a link to provide more info on the subject.

      This is from Google themselves


      If you go to the link in the videos description there is also alot of good info there.

      The "webmaster" is either lacking experience on the subject or more than likely worried about you cutting in on his business.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    1. This is a classic example of a webmaster who likes to think they know everything when in reality they know very little. Wordpress has enabled a lot of these people who know very little to create nice looking websites and call themselves webmasters when in fact all they really do is buy and edit Wordpress templates. They wouldn't know the first thing about actual website development. As seen in the video above, Google actually suggest using a subdomain for your mobile website. I would trust Google over this douche anyday.

    2. The main thing you want to do is create a Google mobile sitemap for your mobile site. This tells Google that the content is designed for mobile devices and they will not look at it as duplicate content. To create a Google mobile sitemap go here:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/mobile-m...e-sitemap.html
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    • Profile picture of the author payment proof
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      2. The main thing you want to do is create a Google mobile sitemap for your mobile site. This tells Google that the content is designed for mobile devices and they will not look at it as duplicate content. To create a Google mobile sitemap go here:

      http://www.warriorforum.com/mobile-m...e-sitemap.html
      I was going to suggest the same thing, but you beat me to it. I wouldn't go as far as #1 though, as building a website/setting it up can be a continual learning process.
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by payment proof View Post

        I was going to suggest the same thing, but you beat me to it. I wouldn't go as far as #1 though, as building a website/setting it up can be a continual learning process.
        I understand that but you don't 'test' things on paying clients -- well at l;east I don't. All I am saying is that with platforms such as Wordpress the barrier to entry for fields such as website design has lowered a lot and there are a LOT of rookie 'webmasters' floating around who pass on a lot of misinformation, as has happened in this case. I have no issue with people learning but they shouldn't be going around preaching to others when in fact they have no idea what they are talking about. If this webmaster did then he wouldn't have said what he said.

        From what I have heard I would say the only reason the webmaster has mentioned this is because he's annoyed the OP cut his grass and created a mobile website for his client -- something he should have known how to od and already have recommended to his client.
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        • Profile picture of the author Justin B
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          I understand that but you don't 'test' things on paying clients -- well at l;east I don't. All I am saying is that with platforms such as Wordpress the barrier to entry for fields such as website design has lowered a lot and there are a LOT of rookie 'webmasters' floating around who pass on a lot of misinformation, as has happened in this case. I have no issue with people learning but they shouldn't be going around preaching to others when in fact they have no idea what they are talking about. If this webmaster did then he wouldn't have said what he said.

          From what I have heard I would say the only reason the webmaster has mentioned this is because he's annoyed the OP cut his grass and created a mobile website for his client -- something he should have known how to od and already have recommended to his client.
          Will, really appreciate your comments here. Thanks.

          As I am hosting all the sites I build with CMS on subdomains using mydomain.com, (e.g. customer1.mydomain.com, customer2.mydomain.com etc...) do I still need to create a site map for a mobile site which is not being hosted on the customers domain to avoid google thinking it is duplicate content?
          How would it recognise it is a mobile site?

          Sorry for the basic questions, but I'm learning at want to learn the correct way and not be an ineffective novice.
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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by Justin B View Post

            Will, really appreciate your comments here. Thanks.

            As I am hosting all the sites I build with CMS on subdomains using mydomain.com, (e.g. customer1.mydomain.com, customer2.mydomain.com etc...) do I still need to create a site map for a mobile site which is not being hosted on the customers domain to avoid google thinking it is duplicate content?
            How would it recognise it is a mobile site?

            Sorry for the basic questions, but I'm learning at want to learn the correct way and not be an ineffective novice.
            Justin,

            I'm not a huge fan of setting up other customers sites all on one domain like that. I would much prefer to host their mobile site on a subdomain of their own site or if they want me to host it, then I would purchase a cheap customized .mobi domain for them that can rank on it's own terms.
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            • Profile picture of the author dantehicks
              Originally Posted by WillR View Post

              I'm not a huge fan of setting up other customers sites all on one domain like that. I would much prefer to host their mobile site on a subdomain of their own site...
              What about when a CNAME is used? In other words, you type "m.customerwebsite.com" and see the mobile site, but it's actually displaying the site that sits on the developer's domain and server. Does doing this have any impact as far as Google is concerned - seo, SERP rankings, duplicate content, etc??
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    • Profile picture of the author Fadiz
      you nailed it

      PS. I don't like word "webmaster"
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      1. This is a classic example of a webmaster who likes to think they know everything when in reality they know very little. Wordpress has enabled a lot of these people who know very little to create nice looking websites and call themselves webmasters when in fact all they really do is buy and edit Wordpress templates. They wouldn't know the first thing about actual website development. As seen in the video above, Google actually suggest using a subdomain for your mobile website. I would trust Google over this douche anyday.


      http://www.warriorforum.com/mobile-m...e-sitemap.html
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  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Actually that "webmaster" (Sorry WillR) has a point.

    First, hosting your clients Mobile site on a totally separate Domain that you own that has nothing to do with your clients business CAN be seen as duplicate content...essentially a Clone site.

    HOWEVER, for that to happen the content would have to be more or less identical to have that effect.

    I honestly have no idea why you are hosting your clients sites in that manner.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by HypeText View Post

      First, hosting your clients Mobile site on a totally separate Domain that you own that has nothing to do with your clients business CAN be seen as duplicate content...essentially a Clone site.
      Keep in mind, and a lot of people get confused with this distinction, duplicate content in the real sense of the word is only when you have the same content on the same website. Obviously a mobile site on a subdomain is an exception to that rule because you submit a Google Mobile sitemap so they are aware the content is built for different devices.

      The same content on two different websites is not referred to as duplicate content. If that were the case then all those news sites that publish the same articles would be gone from Google. This is instead known as syndication, when the same information is shared across a number of different sites. It's perfectly fine and normal. It's those sites that are only made up of syndicated content from other websites that are going to feel most of the sting. As Hype said, you will want to change up the content a bit because it will only help things -- Google still loves unique content over syndicated content for the most part.
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