Google just dropped a huge bit of information that is critically important for anyone interested in WordPress mobile SEO.

Google views smart phones as desktop users. It considers feature phone users as the ‘true’ mobile users. This is important for many reasons, but the most important is the fact that Google is crawling the web with a feature phone user agent string.

In order to rank in mobile SEO, you must be showing the same website to the Googlebot Mobile as you do to your mobile visitors. Plugins such as the WPTouch/WPTouch Pro do NOT do this.

It is also important to note that Google distinguishes between smart phones and feature phones. They currently assume smart phones can render the desktop website, and thus a mobile website should be served to feature phones. This of course is not a rule, or a strict guideline of how you should handle your mobile detection, it is only how Google is currently crawling and indexing the web for mobile.

This is critically important because your mobile rankings are now tied to how well your website will display to feature phone users.

You have to ask yourself two things:

  • Is the mobile plugin I am using detecting any mobile search engine bots such as the Googlebot Mobile?
  • If it is, is it showing a mobile theme meant for smart phones or a proper mobile theme meant for feature phones?

You can get an idea of how ready your website is for mobile by going to http://ready.mobi and checking your mobile readiness score. Anything below a 3 is bad.

Websitez.com has written a plugin called the WP Mobile Detector that will detect 5,000+ mobile devices and get you at least a mobile readiness score of a 4/5.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below in a comment.