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Is our mobile site navigation hurting our SEO?

With most websites now having their mobile version crawled by Google, rather than their desktop one, it’s worth considering the difference between the two. This might be more important than we think.

Firstly, remember that internal links are important in SEO. Sure, external links from quality sites count for more, but let’s face it, most of our product pages are going to get few (if any) of these. Internal links take on more importance in this case.

Now, many sites – in their desktop versions – have a lot of internal navigation, quite often including ‘mega menus’. However, in their mobile versions, these are often dispensed with, in favour of a compact (and less extensive) menu system.

In the grand hierarchy of link value, internal links from big fold-down menus are not high scorers. But remember, they may be all we’ve got. If nothing else, the text of the link reinforces to Google what the page is about. It’s likely that the links do still exist in the mobile version, but they might be more obscure and hard to follow – and that could be an issue.

Take a look at your site in its desktop and mobile versions, and follow the links through to an obscure page on both. If the path is less obvious on the mobile version, it might be something to reconsider – because that’s what Google will be following.

Here’s a good article which goes into the subject in more depth.