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What's wrong with my mobile site?

I see a lot of mobile friendly web sites being implemented in a way that makes my coder heart shed a little tear.

x (wrong)
x (wrong)
✔ (right!)

Problem 1, Duplicate Content

Google HATES duplicate content, and will enforce penalties for it, meaning you rank lower in search results. One web site is your mobile site, one web site is your desktop site, both are built as separate stand-alone systems, with two separate sets of content. Anyone that has owned and run a web site knows by the very sound of that that it’s going to be a nightmare.

Most likely one system will be neglected while the other gets posted to in the reality of a busy office worker with 5 minutes to upload the latest special offer.

Problem 2, New Devices

Generally the application of a separately built mobile web site, uses a piece of code containing an array of devices, from iphones to androids, it cycles through this list, and if it finds one matching the current device, it displays the mobile web site.

And what happens as new devices are released on the market? Can the array realistically contain every known device to man? Anyone that owns a mobile friendly web site wants it to be seen by everyone on a mobile device, after all this is their business, their living, they don’t even want one person to miss out on an experience they have invested in to show off their product to it’s best.

Problem 3,

Ok I can’t think of more, but what more do you need. This practice is bad bad bad! ;)

The right way – responsive mobile friendly web design

Responsive web design goes by the resolution of the screen, this is determined by a pixel sizing, along the lines of ‘if the device being used is less than 320 pixels in screen size, display the mobile friendly design’.

It doesn’t care what device you’re using. You don’t have an array that really won’t cover all devices anyway and must always be added to. It’s just, if it’s a tiny device, show this design.

So easy. Google loves it because the content is the same, if people share an article they enjoy whether on the mobile site, or desktop site, the url is the same. You can track it now. It’s lovely, it’s elegant, it’s the future, it’s future-proof.

Did I mention it’s the Google recommended method?

Well, I’ve accepted as an SEO person I’m a slave to Google and I’m ok with that. :)

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