What is a Mobile Sitemap?
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Mobile Sitemaps – Crawling & indexing of Mobile sites

Mobile sites are in trend, they act simply as website but meant for Mobile users. Just like general websites, it is important that search engines crawl and index our mobile sites as well for better visibility of the sites to search engine users. Mobile Sitemaps can help your website to be crawled better by search engine robots. Things to be considered here is – What is a Mobile Sitemap, How to create a Mobile Sitemap and uses of Mobile Sitemap in Google crawling and indexing and latest formats used in creation of Mobile Sitemap.

How can you make your Mobile site visible to mobile users? This is not very different from a desktop Website. Search engines use crawlers/robots to crawl new sites on the web. They use software called “Spider” for crawling websites. Once spider finds your site, they follow the links it contains and collect all relevant information. If you renew the content or add a page in your Website and worried about how search engines will know it; then know the fact that very often Spiders revisit your site to track changes if made.

What is the use of Mobile Sitemap?

Google crawls and indexes sites specially designed for Mobile phones and other such devices and include it in its Mobile web index. In-fact Google even adds a new site whenever a user browses it through Mobile Search Engine or directly visits the site through browsers.

If you need to improve crawl ability of search engines to deeper pages of your website also and enable re-crawling whenever you make any changes on the site, then the best option is to create a Mobile Sitemap and submit it to Search engine webmaster tools. You can do this quickly and easily using the Google Webmaster Tools.

Mobile Sitemap is very useful as it helps search engines and crawlers to discover new Website or pages of existing indexed Website. It increases and speedup the discovery process of crawlers.

How Google uses Mobile Sitemaps?

Google Mobile Sitemap uses the extensions in compliance with Sitemap Protocol that helps users to submit their URL that serve Content for mobile devices into search engines’ indexing servicing which is known as mobile index.

It is very easy to create and add mobile sitemap in your Webmasters tools account. This is very similar as we add Sitemap for desktop websites.

Google’s mobile Crawlers will always use Request Header with HTTP “Accept” header to suggest your site that it should return documents with mobile content types, if available, rather than standard HTML. If your site meets these standards, your site will return mobile content correctly to the mobile crawlers.

Sometimes behavior of Accept header is ambiguous. For Example, for some Mobile devices Text-HTML or simply HTML content type is appropriate, which is generally intended for desktop computers. Google’s mobile crawler does its best to track your site like if your site can be accessed through mobile devices.

Google’s mobile crawler will send a User-agent header that contains the string “Googlebot-Mobile” to communicate with Mobile websites.

How to Create a Mobile Sitemap?

Google has changed the Format of Mobile Sitemap recently so if you already have a mobile sitemap then make sure you update it with the latest prescribed format.
Mobile sitemaps generally use sitemap protocol, specific tags with extra namespace requirement.
A sample Mobile Sitemap containing listing a single entry is shown below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
 <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"

Important Points to consider while creating a Mobile sitemap:

  1. If you plan to use tools for sitemap creation, make sure your tool create correct sitemap with latest format.
  2. Put only those URL’s which serves Mobile content, otherwise it will be ignored by Google Crawlers. You can create separate sitemap for Non-Mobile content Sites.
  3. Put <mobile:mobile/> tag properly to make your page to be recognized as meant for Mobile users.
  4. URLs serving multiple markup languages can be listed in a single Sitemap.
  5. Each Mobile Sitemap must have a unique name.
  6. If you are using Google’s Sitemap Generator then create separate config file for each Mobile Sitemap.

Sitemaps currently supports and automatically detects the following markup languages:
• Non-mobile (this includes most content)
• XHTML mobile profile (WAP 2.0)
• WML (WAP 1.2)
• cHTML (iMode)
For a sample Mobile Sitemap, refer http://www.google.com/mobilesitemap.xml.
For more information, please review the guidelines set by Google – Mobile webmaster guidelines.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
 <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"

Related posts of interest:

  1. Mobile SEO and Analytics Tools
  2. 5 Mobile SEO Trends to Watch Out
  3. Google Analytics for Mobile Sites
  4. How to do Keyword Research For Mobile Traffic?

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Amit Kothiyal is the Co-Editor at SEO-SMO.net and SEO Expert. Consult Internet marketing strategies for your website with Amit at SEO Company in India delivering expert SEO services.

8 Responses to “What is a Mobile Sitemap?”

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