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I was travelling last week and +Eric Enge published an interview with me about mobile SEO:

http://www.stonetemple.com/mobile-seo-with-googles-pierre-far/

We covered a lot of points and I want to emphasize one topic we talked about: what should publishers using RWD do if they have some pages these wanted to implement that are desktop only?

As I tried to say in my answer, the premise of this question is bit wrong: there isn't content that is only for desktops or smartphones. More and more, users are accessing all sorts of content on smartphones, including content that, historically, was considered only useful for desktop users. A friend of mine found an mortgage while commuting and used his smartphone to haggle with his bank to get a better deal.

And there are a few studies that say that a good percentage of users access the internet only on smartphones, and it's a bigger percentage if you include users that access the internet mostly on smartphones. To rephrase: smartphones are becoming the primary internet device for many users and we need to keep up.
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Pierre Far's profile photoRyne Landers's profile photoBryson Meunier's profile photoPe lagic's profile photo
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One fascinating point that I heard at SMX Advanced (I think it was from +Matt Cutts ) was that for most web sites, mobile devices will represent more than half of their traffic by 2015 (I think he was referencing an IDC report for that data).  If you have not yet begun to focus on mobile, you might want to get started now!
Eric Wu
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+Eric Enge ... Forget 2015 ... how about starting last year (at least for some of my sites) ;)
 
+Pierre Far I understand One Web and the need to make content accessible, but your answer doesn't really help people who have things like Flash games and printable coupons on their sites (e.g. Disney, Microsoft and Starbucks: http://searchengineland.com/how-common-are-seo-problems-with-responsive-web-design-152672). Even if people are looking for Flash games and printable coupons on mobile devices, the great majority of them have no way of interacting with them on smartphones. Are we really supposed to make this content accessible to smartphones and perpetuate horrible smartphone user experiences? Isn't that what your recent smartphone rankings guidelines are meant to avoid?
 
+Bryson Meunier I've thinking about this a few years, and my I personally approach it from a different angle. The web is constantly changing, and deciding whether/when to support new types of users is a business decision not a technology decision.

It's akin to having a site in English only and you learn of great demand from users who don't read English.
 
+Bryson Meunier Recently at the agency I work at, we've been having a very intense debate on which practice is the best for creating mobile-optimized designs. Most of the office seems in favor of responsive design, but I've encountered far too many formatting and accessibility issues with it to be comfortable recommending it fully. I side with you on the m.domain.com or domain.com/m/content approach. I've been following your articles for the past hour on Search Engineland, which lead me here. I'm going through +Pierre Far 's article above right now. 
 
+Pierre Far I appreciate your response. Not quite sure how to take it, though, as I agree that the web is constantly changing and that deciding whether/when to support new types of users is a business decision and not a technology decision. It still doesn't solve the problem of supporting desktop users and mobile users with different content when they have different needs. You say clearly here that "there isn't content that is only for desktops or smartphones," but by my estimation there is absolutely no need to serve a QR code or a printable coupon or a Flash game or an Android game to an iPhone or many other types of content that are common on the web but unusable on smartphones to someone accessing the web on a smartphone. So how, if not by creating specific pages for these things that many people are looking for (but looking for differently by platform) are we supposed to solve this dilemma without creating platform-specific content? This is not rhetorical. There are real-life examples of this type of content creating poor user experiences on the Web every day (such as the examples from Disney, Microsoft and Starbucks in the award-winning examples cited in the article I linked to above), and it would be great to get some actionable advice from Google on how to handle these situations. 

That said, as someone who accesses content from a variety of devices regularly I applaud what you and Google have done so far to improve the mobile user experience. I just wish you would take it a little further and help us with the problem of platform-specific content, which seems to be more complex than many people realize.
 
Thanks +Ryne Landers. I'm glad you like the articles. Since I wrote them it seems more people are starting to recognize that responsive web design isn't the best or most usable solution for every brand in every case, and that there are other options. Given the popularity of the RWD movement in design circles, it's great to hear others speak out against when it doesn't make sense. 
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