One SEO professional was concerned about the fact that they have a site with different navigational links on mobile devices when compared to desktop.
The main difference between the mobile version and the desktop version is that the mobile version is slimmer. The desktop version has more links.
They are looking at exclusively crawling the desktop version, because it’s better for technical reasons.
However, they cannot hide links in the source. Also, the site has been converted to mobile-first indexing already.
Their main concern is whether Google believes they are trying to game the system when they have something this different, in terms of links on both desktop and mobile.
John explained that for a responsive site, this is a very common setup, in that they have both variations visible in the HTML. From that perspective, he does not see this as being very problematic.
However, this is not exactly a very clean implementation. The reasoning behind this assessment is because you have to maintain both variations of the UI within the same HTML, compared to having one variation in the HTML.
This happens at approximately the 39:23 mark in the video.
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