How to Remove WordPress Mobile Pack (WMP)

In one of my articles last week, I explained how how WordPress Mobile Pack (WMP) can harm search engine traffic of your website. You can go through that article to find the details but in a nutshell the issues with this plug-in is that of different URLs pointing to the same content. This causes search engines, like Google, to believe that your website is hosting duplicate content.

A lot of people have installed WMP because it indeed is a good plugin but only for its URL structure. You must not install it. But if you have installed it, today, I am going to tell you how you can get over the effect of this WordPress plugin.

Well, although it is easy to take steps for getting rid of WordPress Mobile Pack –but overall it takes quite a bit of time before its bad effect gets over from your website. It took one of my website two years to get out of it!

Instead of such a plugin, you should use a responsive design for your website, so that it appears good on all sorts of screens. You can test your website’s present responsiveness online.

In simple words, WMP is a bad plugin with good intentions. Let’s see how.

Remove WordPress Mobile Pack (WMP)

Step 1

In case you have installed this plug-in, the very first and obvious step is to remove the plug-in. Go to your WordPress dashboard. Deactivate the plug-in and then delete it.

Shouldn’t it be all?

No. This is not all. You’ve only removed plug-in from your website but the real cause of problem does not lie in your website but in the Google Index. When you install WMP, within a couple of days or so, Google takes note of all the new URLs created by WMP and put all those URLs in the search engine index. Our main objective now is to flush these WMP URLs out of Google’s index.

Step 2

Put a 301 redirection on all the WMP URLs and redirect each URL to its original content. Here is what I mean:

Suppose you’ve an article with the following URL:

www.example.com/my-article

When you install WMP, it creates the following two URLs pointing to the above article:

www.example.com/my-article?wpmp_switcher=desktop

www.example.com/my-article?wpmp_switcher=mobile

Now you have at least three URLs leading to the same content! And this is exactly the problem.

So, you need to permanently redirect the URLs with wpmp_switcher parameter to the URL without this parameter. For example:

www.example.com/my-article?wpmp_switcher=desktop

should permanently redirect Google to

www.example.com/my-article

You can do this by setting a 301 redirect in .htaccess file (you have to have root access to your server for this). A bit of pattern matching can make your task much easier. Try using the following code in .htaccess file:

## Strip Mobile Pack query strings ##

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^wpmp_.* [NC,OR]

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (.+)&?wpmp_.*$ [NC]

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1?%1 [R=301,L]

## END of Strip Mobile Pack query strings ##

Once you have added all this to your .htaccess file you may want to check the syntax of .htaccess to see if all if fine.

This is it…

Now all you need to do is wait… wait… and even more wait! Google will slowly chuck the wpmp URLs out of its index due to 301 redirection. This process may take weeks and even months or years depending upon the number of such URLs in index.

Step 3

To speed up the matter a bit, go to Google Webmaster dashboard. Under Crawl > URL Parameters option you can tell Google to ignore URLs with wpmp parameter. This option should be used with care because a slight mistake and you may end up removing your entire website from Big G’s all important search index.

Step 4

It is advisable to direct Bing also to ignore the said parameter.

As I reported in my previous article of this matter –TechWelkin’s search traffic suffered significantly because of WMP plug-in. It was hit hard by Panda update because Google’s algorithm detected duplicate content on this site. When I implemented the above mentioned steps –the traffic improved, although as slowly as expected.

Hope this will be of help!

4 thoughts on “How to Remove WordPress Mobile Pack (WMP)”

  1. Надежда Давыдова

    Very grateful for a simple solution to my problem with duplicate content. Plugin has removed a year ago, but only now learned that the page is still there! Used translator, sorry if you get bad English. I speak in Russian.

  2. I have the same problem and do all of the above since 25 November 2013. I was watching on google webmaster shows the parameters of the initial wpmp_switcher be down 8,542 and then 8,957 then 8,203 then 8,363 and now December 11, 2013 to be down 8,138. wait … wait …. and wait …

    1. Hi Hadi, If you have put the 301 redirect in place -then you don’t need to watch GWT numbers. It may take years for Google to completely flush its index -but 301 redirect will remove any possible penalty form your website. So, if you’ve done all of the above -just don’t worry about it! :-)

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