Sites for mobile devices

  1. General guidelines
  2. How do I check my site's mobile pages?
  3. How does Yandex check if the site is adaptive?
  4. Questions and answers about mobile sites

Search engines are improving search results for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile users are most likely to see:

Site with adaptive design
The site adapts to the screen size and resolution. It is available at the same URL for all devices.
A site with a dynamic page layout
For viewing the site on different mobile devices, the server responds to the URL request with different versions of the HTML and CSS code.
Mobile version of the site (a subdomain)
For viewing the site from mobile devices, a separate URL is used (a subdomain, such as m.example.com, mob.example.com, and so on). To have a mobile subdomain included in mobile search, its structure must fully match that of the main domain.

You can also enable Turbo pages to display the site in search results.

General guidelines

The recommendations for webmasters below are relevant for all approaches to site adaptation.

  • Resources should be accessible for the Yandex mobile indexing robot: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12B411 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; YandexBot/3.0;+http://yandex.com/bots). The robots.txt file must allow scanning CSS and Javascript that are responsible for displaying the site on mobile devices. Otherwise, the site pages might be displayed incorrectly in the search results.
  • Site pages must respond to the server with the 200 OK HTTP code. You can check the server response in Yandex.Webmaster.
  • Don't use Flash, Silverlight, or Applet technologies on pages that are intended for mobile users. These technologies aren't necessarily supported on mobile devices.

    Tip. For example, users can't view an interactive section of the site or videos implemented using Flash. We recommend using HTML5 to integrate content, or eliminating heavy and complex interactive elements.
  • Make your site's content maximally visible on a mobile device screen.
  • The site content should fit on the screen horizontally.
  • Site pages should open correctly and without horizontal scrolling on devices with a resolution of 320 pixels or more.
  • The text size in pixels should allow the entire text to be read comfortably on a mobile device screen.
  • If you are using a subdomain, set up a redirect from the main site to the mobile version.
  • With the mobile version, implement the rel="alternate" attribute in the link element. This will help the Yandex mobile robot understand which version to switch to. Add it, regardless of whether the URL paths of the mobile and desktop versions of the page match or not. Use the attribute in the element link as part of the head element:

    <link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/" />

    The CSS media query string is used as the value of the media attribute. This string determines conditions under which the mobile robot selects the alternate URL. The value from the example is usually used when the condition is to display the page on a mobile device.

How do I check my site's mobile pages?

To check:
  1. Choose the site with the page you need to check from the list.
  2. Enter the page URL in the field. By default, the home page of the site is specified.
  3. Click Check.

The check takes a few minutes.

When using a subdomain, if the main domain has passed testing, the subdomain is considered mobile-friendly.

After the check is completed, the Diagnostics → Site diagnostics page displays optimization recommendations. Yandex.Webmaster regularly checks the site. You can configure notifications of check results.

How does Yandex check if the site is adaptive?

The Yandex mobile robot checks the site's main page and some of the internal pages, selecting them automatically. The site is considered mobile-friendly if all the pages pass the check.

If you use the adaptive layout, Yandex checks if the pages adapt to mobile devices correctly.

If you use subdomains and the main domain redirects visitors to the mobile version, the Yandex mobile robot will also be redirected. For example, from https://example.com/ to https://m.example.com/. In this case, the sites must meet the following requirements:

  • The mobile domain is a subdomain of the desktop domain.
  • All targets of the redirect are mobile-friendly.
  • Make sure that the URL path of the mobile version matches the desktop version. If not, Yandex checks if the user is redirected from the desktop version to the URL specified in the rel="alternate" attribute in the link element.

Questions and answers about mobile sites

Can the content of the mobile site version differ from the main version?

You can optimize the content of the site pages for mobile search. For example, you can leave only the content that will be useful for the users of mobile devices. At the same time, the mobile pages' content shouldn't be dramatically different from the content of the main version.

How can I avoid duplicate content?

The site's main and mobile versions are considered by the Yandex mobile robot as separate sites and indexed independently of each other.

To help the mobile robot identify the version correctly, specify the URLs of the mobile pages on the corresponding pages of the main site. For example, you can use the link element:

<link rel="alternate" media="only screen and (max-width: 640px)" href="http://m.example.com/page.html"/>
Do I need to set redirects to the mobile version of the site?

You can redirect the user from the main site to the mobile version, depending on the user agent of the device from which the user browses the site.

Do I need to add the site's mobile version to Yandex.Webmaster?

You can add a mobile version of the site to Yandex.Webmaster to track the page indexing statistics.

Can I create a mobile version of the site in a subdirectory (folder)?

If the mobile version of the site is located in the main site's directory, the Yandex indexing robot can't index it correctly and recognize the site as mobile compatible. Use adaptive design or dynamic layout.

How do I tell the Yandex robot that the adaptive site version is available?

For sites with adaptive design, use the <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" meta tag to specify the viewport. For more information, see the Using HTML tags section.

The mobile version on a subdomain has become a mirror of the main version

This may happen if the content of the mobile and main versions is identical. This doesn't affect the site's recognition as mobile compatible and the display of the mobile version in mobile search.