Mobile phones is really popular in China,according to Global mobile statistics 2014 Part A from mobiThinking,In the year 2014, the total number of mobile subscribers in China reached 12.68 billion, accounting for 91,5% of the entire population, and including 405 million 3G/4G subscribers.
Baidu is the leading Chinese search engine on both PC and mobile devices,We can’t image that Baidu would ignore the demands of better user experience from this huge number of user base. So in 2014, Baidu has released quite a few guidelines, tools and articles to help webmasters standardize the optimization efforts for Mobile Baidu SEO..
This article will serve as Baidu seo guide to mobile Baidu search engine optimization, covering the rules, tools and best practices. If you are planing to optimize your website for Baidu Mobile, keep this article under your pillow.
This information will serve as a defined self-help guide to Mobile China SEO, Covering the guidelines, equipment and finest methods. In case you are planing in order to optimize your Chinese website for Baidu of mobile devices, bare this post beneath your cushion.
Have you got a Mobile WebSite?
Situation 1: You havn’t got a mobile website.
If so,there is good news for you: you don’t have to have a mobile site to do optimization for Baidu Mobile. Baidu has released a tool called SiteApp, which can help you create an app-like mobile site based on the desktop version of your website.
This option is designed for small businesses that don’t have an extra budget for creating a mobile site or making the desktop website responsive.
And it’s pretty obvious that another option for those without a mobile site is just creating one, or making the existing PC site more responsive to suit the screen sizes of mobile devices.
Situation 2: You have got a mobile website.
If you have a mobile website, it’s important to let Baidu distinguish it from the desktop site and properly display it in the search results of Baidu Mobile. Below are three ways to achieve this, to make Baidu’s and your lives easier:
Option 1 – you do the heavy lifting yourself
You will need to properly configure your server to let it recognize mobile devices and mobile crawlers. The easiest way is to detect the user agent. For example, the user agent name of Baidu’s mobile crawler is Baidu spider, the same with its desktop crawler. That of Google’s mobile crawler is Google-bot-Mobile, which is different than the name of its desktop crawler.
Option 2 – meta tag
Option 2 is a simpler one that most SEOs should be good at – adding meta tags to thesection of the PC web pages.
<meta name=”mobile-agent”content=”format=[wml|xhtml|html5]; url=url”>
If a PC page on your site has a corresponding mobile page, you can use the meta tag above to inform Baidu.
Here is an example:
<meta name=”mobile-agent” content=”format=html5;url=http://mobile-site.com/your-corresponding-mobile-page”>
Option 3 – sitemap
Using sitemap to inform Baidu of the relationships between the PC pages and mobile pages is another option. Baidu has released a detailed guide on how to adjust your sitemap file to meet the standards.
Baidu Mobile Optimization Recommendations
So you have a mobile/responsive site and Baidu can distinguish it. Now we need to optimize it for Baidu Mobile.
Baidu has released an official mobile SEO guide and below is the English version. We have omitted some common recommendations like “use a short domain name so visitors can remember it more easily”. Please also note we have not done quantitative tests to proof all the recommendations from Baidu can actually benefit your mobile SEO performance on Baidu, so please make choices based on your own wisdom.
Baidu Mobile Optimization V1.1
- Make sure your robots.txt file doesn’t block Baidu spider. The mobile user agent of Baidu is still Baidu spider, not Baidu spider-mobile.
- Use sub-domains or directories or organize your content, to make it have a clear structure.
- Use the keywords meta tag for the home page and important directory pages.
- Use the description meta tag for the home page and important directory pages.
- Reduce or avoid broken links, and ensure the pages give correct status codes.
- Use a home <–> directory <–> article flat content structure for your website.
- Use breadcrumb navigations.
- Write clear page title. For example:
homepage: site name_service or product description
directory page: directory name_site name
article page: article title_directory name_site name
- Don’t use too many sub-domains. For example, some online communities give each user a sub-domain like username.a.com. Don’t do that.
- Links a web page point to should give 200 status codes. Try avoiding errors and redirection.
- When you are changing the domain, it is ideal you keep the URL structure unchanged. For example, you are changing from a.com to b.com. Old pages like a.com/abc/abc.html should be permanently redirected to b.com/abc/abc.html
- Use correct DOCTYPE declarations, so search engines crawlers can detect if the web pages are suitable for mobile devices. For example, xhtml mobile sites can use the following DOCTYPE:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//WAPFORUM//DTD XHTML Mobile 1.0//EN” “http://www.wapforum.org/DTD/xhtml-mobile10.dtd”>
WML mobile sites:
<!DOCTYPE wml PUBLIC “-//WAPFORUM//DTD WML 1.1//EN” “http://www.wapforum.org/DTD/wml_1.1.xml”>
HTML5 mobile sites:
And here is the original Chinese version by Baidu of the mobile SEO guide in Chinese.
In conclusion,to do China SEO for mobile devices, if you already have a mobile website, you need to make Baidu to recognize it first by using meta tags, site-map or configuring your servers; If you don’t have a mobile website, then you can use Baidu’s Site App tool to quickly create one, or make your PC site more friendly and responsive to mobile devices.
After that, you can check the above Baidu SEO guide and work on your mobile website.