ShopSite Tip – Two Things You Must Do For Mobile Pages

mobile_phoneDid you know that Google indexes mobile versions of websites?  It does this so it can provide the mobile URL to a user who’s searching Google on a smartphone, but this can sometimes cause duplicate content in search results.  That can then lead to lower rankings in the results then you would otherwise receive.

If you’re using Responsive Design for your website then you don’t need to worry as all your content displays on the same URL, regardless of whether a mobile device is used, so that will not cause duplicate content.  But if you use ShopSite’s Mobile feature (Preferences > Mobile in v11.1+) your mobile pages will be on a different URL.  With a quick fix to some templates you can tell search engines to link to your regular pages instead of the mobile version, insuring that nothing is duplicated in search results.

Canonical Links

A canonical link tells a search engine what the preferred version of a page is when it’s indexing your site.  By customizing two mobile templates in ShopSite you can tell search engines to use your regular pages in their search results.

To start, view the Preferences > Mobile screen in ShopSite and make note of the assigned “Page Template” and “Product Template”.

Then on the Merchandising > Custom Templates > Page/Product screen either edit the existing templates you are using, or use the “Copy ShopSite Page (or Product) Template” buttons to create custom copies.

The Changes

Before the </head> tag in the “[– DEFINE PAGE –]” section of your custom mobile page template, add:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”[– OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_URL –]/[– PAGE.FileName –]”>

Before the </head> tag in the “[– DEFINE MORE_INFO_PAGE –]” section of your custom mobile product template, add:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”[– OUTPUT_DIRECTORY_URL –]/[– PRODUCT.MoreInformationFileName –]”>

Those changes will include the canonical tag with the corresponding URL for the category/content page or more info page.  If you edited existing custom files then your changes are complete, but if you made copies and edited new custom templates you will need to go back to the Preferences > Mobile screen and set the “Page Template” and “Product Template” settings to use the new templates you created.

Once those changes are made you are all set.  There is no need to publish your site, and now Google will index all the correct content with no risk of duplicate content in search results.


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