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    Question Mobile: shifting from 'm.' pages to dynamic serving - risks and procedures?


    Hi,
    one of my clients is entirely redoing the mobile version of its website. The new mobile version will almost completely match the layout, content and structure of the desktop version.

    Currently, the mobile version is managed through a separate subdomain 'm.website.com', with rel canonical/alternate.
    For the new mobile version we would like to shift to dynamic serving, detecting the user device and redirecting to the right version with the Vary HTTP Header.

    We would clearly follow all the official guidelines by Google for user-agent sniffing. And, as soon as the new mobile version goes live, we would implement the 301 redirect from the old 'm.' urls to the canonical 'www.' ones.

    So I ask you: is this shift from 'm.' pages to dynamic serving safe from an SEO point of view, or are there some risks involved? Are there other procedures I should consider to preserve rankings and organic traffic for the mobile version?

    Please consider that the mobile website is quite big in terms of indexed pages (currently about 50.000 'm.' pages indexed) and receives a lot of organic traffic from search engines, so I would like to be sure not to miss some important detail.

    Thank you,
    Fab.
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    You're making the corrects steps to be ready for the Mobile First Index that Google has often spoken about. The latest I heard was that the index might not be ready until next year.

    Anyhow, to your point, there are no guarantees that anyone can give you as to whether the ranking will be preserved. It's likely to change, without doubt.

    Here's some documentation that may assist you, if you haven't already seen it.
    Mobile SEO Overview

    The best thing I can suggest is warn the client there will be changes, but you're ready to test, test, and test again.

    Comments on this post

    • Pierre Benneton agrees : I would wait to implement SPA too.

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