After Google's Mobile Friendly Update Algorithm which was rolled out on April 21, 2015. Many webmasters have seen a slight drop in their mobile traffic and they have now understood the importance of not just Mobile Friendly Web layouts but also templates that must load fast because mobile browsers are quite slow in rendering a webpage due to slow 3G or cellular network. Website Page Speed is an important Search engine metric to rank websites and it is really important that your Responsive and fluid layouts may serve content to visitors as fast as possible. Since People are new to creating Responsive Blogger templates, they often misuse some standards which can cause them a serious SEO blow in coming updates if not taken care of. One of such mistakes that I found on many freely available blogspot templates was the extensive use of CSS "Display:none" property for hiding Menu Links, Widgets and Columns. Read below to understand Why I believe use of Display:none is neither a good Design Approach and neither a SEO friendly method.
UPDATE: isMobileRequest is applicable only to smartphone devices and it does not apply to tablets, iPads etc. Just a correction to this post.
For The record: This tutorial is introducing Blogger Mobile Conditional Expressions first time across the web. The Data variable below is not even listed in official Blogger Layouts Data Tags.
Why not use Display:none; in Responsive Templates?
Display:none; property can surely be applied to images, widgets, iframes or any Div section with minimum textual content. You can not hide an entire Navigation Menu in Mobile template which you do display in Desktop template because you wish to instead display a responsive menu in Mobile devices. The menu will only be hidden from Front End view but its HTML will still be rendered and search robots will still crawl each link. This can make robots suspicious and they can flag you for a Keyword stuffing activity.
More worse is the case when I see newbie designers hiding an entire content section with display:none. The content will still be visible to robots and they can penalize you for stuffing your page with unnecessary use of keywords.
Display:none also slows down the page because the script or HTML that you have hidden from front end view using CSS will still load and render in background thus eating up your precious Page Speed.
In Short Display:none is a Front end approach we need one that hides the content at Server Side.
Use Blogger Conditional Expression For Mobile Devices
Blogger Templates are built with XHTML which support a long list of Conditional expressions and Logic Operators that can help you better communicate with the server and format the UI using widget layout tags. One Such Data Tag is isMobileRequest which is a Globally Available Data which can be applied to any HTML DOM inside the template. isMobileRequest is a Boolean Data Type that accepts only two values which is either True or False.
Blogger adds a mobile parameter in Domain URL when the blog is visited using a Smartphone, Tablet, iPad or any mobile device. The mobile parameter works on a Boolean logic i.e. 0 or 1. If you visit mbt on a mobile device, you will see ?m=1 being appended to the URL in your address bar.
m=1 means that the device is a mobile device and m=0 would mean a desktop or Laptop. However by default ?m=0 is not appended to the URL tail in Desktop devices.
?m=x is detected by isMobileRequest which then tells the server that whether the device being used is a Mobile device or Desktop. We can use this request to hide or Show HTML content at server side which is not only just a SEO friendly approach but would also drastically improve your Mobile Page load time.
Google Has Given us a 100% Score for User Experience
This Magic Data Tag has helped us receive a 100/100 score on Google PageSpeed tool for MBT;
- The pageSpeed score is however 63 because of too many Advertising banners on our site which we can not remove by any cost.
How To Hide or Show HTML using isMobileRequest?
The Conditional expression has the following syntax which works on a Boolean Logic:
<b:if cond='data:blog.isMobileRequest == "true"'>
HTML To Show Only in Mobile Devices
The content inside the conditional expression above will load only in Mobile devices where the condition has value true due to the parameter ?m=1 where 1 means True.
If in case you wish to display a content only on desktop devices then you will reverse the logic in this order:
<b:if cond='data:blog.isMobileRequest == "false"'>
HTML To Show Only in Desktop Devices
As simple as that. Note that this condition works irrespective of whether or not you have enabled or disabled the default Blogger Mobile template. You can use it in both cases.
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