Mobile users are sometimes forced to initiate or download an app to continue viewing further content while visiting a web page via search engine, which can be quite annoying to users.
Take one of the popular audio sharing platform Ximalaya as an example:
When a user enters the website via mobile search, it interrupts the user journey and forces the users to download or use the mobile app. Baidu mobile search will significantly lower the rankings of such pages; so, companies should avoid implementing such practices.
Optimizing for Baidu Mobile Search
Domains and servers. Baidu recommends simple and short domain names as they are easier for remember. Businesses should select stable and good performing servers. Baidu also recommends fully-responsive HTML5 designs to build websites. Keep in mind that page loading speed is a very important ranking factor.
Flat structure. Baidu recommends mobile sites should have a clear structure and shallow link depth, which allow users to quickly obtain useful information and search engines to quickly understand the structure level. Tree structures are recommended in three levels: homepage » category » details page.
Linking. The ideal site structure is flat tree structure, from the home page to the content page level as little depth as possible. Every page should link to the upper-level page, the next level page, and pages with related content. Important web pages should be near the home page.
In addition, breadcrumb navigation is also important to have for mobile websites.
External links are important for mobile page rankings, including links from PC only pages to mobile pages. Be reminded poor quality external links have a negative impact on your Baidu rankings. You can use Baidu Webmasters to analyze the external links.
URL structure. If your website designs different pages specifically for mobile users, Baidu recommends the use of mobile home page with m.a.com/3g.a.com/wap.a.com (the use of subdirectory such as www.a.com/m/ is not recommended), category pages with m.a.com/n1/、m.a.com/n2/ (it’s better if n1 and n2 can be directly accessed). Details pages should have simple and shorter URLs with few parameters. Different pages with the same content should use 301 Redirect to one unique URL.
Anchor text. The simpler the description of the anchor text is written, the easier it is for the user to understand the purpose of the page. The user discovers that your page is a link from other pages, and the anchor text is the only introduction Baiduspider understands the page.
Anchor text must be accurate; and, incorrect descriptions could get your page penalized.
Tools. You can use Baidu Webmasters to submit a mobile sitemap, check mobile indexing status, and submit 404 removed pages.
If Baidu could not locate proper mobile pages, it will create a transformed mobile page for better user experience. However, it’s not as good as fully responsive HTML5 designed web pages.
Page Title. You should have unique and relevant title for each mobile page, limited to 17 Chinese characters. If more than 17 characters in title, it will be forced to two rows or removed when it’s over 24 characters. Keep the most important words in the beginning of the title. If your brand is well known in China, keep your brand in the title.
Having a unique “description” tag for each page is important. You should also use “applicable-device” tag to inform Baidu of your website mobile adaption status:
- If your web pages are only good for desktop browsing, add <meta name=”applicable-device” content=”pc”>
- If your web pages are only good for mobile devices, add <meta name=”applicable-device” content=”mobile”>
- If your website uses fully-responsive design, add <meta name=”applicable-device” content=”pc,mobile”>
For local content, you can use geo meta tag; for example, if your website targets users in Beijing, you can use “location” meta tag:
<meta name=”location” content=”province=北京;city=北京; coord=116.306522891,40.0555055968″>
Coord is the latitude and longitude coordinates of the page information.
Content design. Baidu recommends 14pt font size for main content (no smaller than 10px), and line spacing of (0.42~0.6)*font size (no lower than 0.2*font size).
If the main content contains multiple images, the images should be set to uniform width and positions. When the content contains multiple text links, the recommended font size is 14px and 13px for the vertical spacing. If the font size is 16px, the vertical spacing recommended is 14px. The clickable text links area is no smaller than 40px
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