One of the top challenges to mobile SEO is the proper use of pre-existing content.
Those who are new to mobile face a significant challenge with their SEO efforts, as they fear using duplicate content from their traditional site onto their mobile optimized website, which could cause them to lose their ranks with the top search engines.
The reality is that properly formatted content will not be penalized if it is duplicated between traditional and mobile sites.
That said, it is vital that proper formatting and use be achieved, or the risk of losing the best ranks will still exist. The following are the characteristics which must be avoided by mobile websites in order to make certain that you are not causing yourself more harm than good:
• Splitting link equity with app promotion – don’t over-promote your app in the free space on your traditional website as there is a small chance that the platform-specific URLs will be linked and shared instead of the homepage.
• Diluting link equity with carrier pages – even though Google’s webmaster guidelines for mobile no longer state that a duplicate page should not be created for each carrier, it is still wise to avoid the behavior.
• Duplicates between indexed transcoder and legacy sites – if a transcoder was originally used to build a mobile presence, but an in-house site has since been created, the many duplicates could be the result.
• Cross domain duplicates in other forms – though the mobile content from transcoded sites is the most common form of cross-domain duplication of content, there are some other examples of the same site being hosted by several domains without canonical tags to tell search engines which is the primary location. This can hurt the ability to achieve a competitive rank.
• Showcasing the mobile optimized website on the traditional site – creating desktop pages meant to advertise mobile sites can generate mobile site results when they are intended for desktop users. Even worse, those results often outrank the official mobile site.
• Doubled WAP sites – this can occur when a site was originally created for a feature phone but another was built to replace it for a smartphone.
• Promoting the apps ahead of the mobile site – when the mobile app is promoted more heavily than the optimized website, content is often duplicated for the same channel and the link equity is divided. At the same time this will not create additional shares or links that would help to competitively boost the overall rank. The mobile web should always be promoted first.