Responsive Design & Hiding Links & Google Webmaster Guidelines

Jul 16, 2013 • 9:05 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Responsive Web Design & GoogleA Google Webmaster Help thread has a webmaster who made his site responsive. Meaning, he made his site mobile/smartphone friendly through the responsive design approach. The responsive design approach is Google's recommendation.

That being said, even though responsive design is mostly the same content, same HTML, and same look.... Sometimes, there are slight differences. Sometimes, the navigation slightly changes. Sometimes some of the images or content is removed. Sometimes, some of the links or handling of telephone or email addresses change. These are all done with making the mobile template more usable for mobile users.

In the case of the Google Webmaster Help thread, this user removed some links from his navigation because the URLs were not mobile friendly or useful to mobile users. He also added HTML to the telephone numbers to make them click to dial on smartphones.

Is that against Google's webmaster guidelines? I'd be bold and say no.

As long as you serve up this HTML as is to GoogleBot as you would a desktop or mobile user, then you are fine. Don't serve up GoogleBot something different than you would serve other users. I.e. don't hide or add links just for GoogleBot.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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