Tarun Gupta

Google Announces Warning Against Irrelevant Mobile Redirects

Post By Tarun Gupta Post User Last Updated: Oct 30th, 2015 category Mobile Marketing

Google has always been quick on punishing those actions that seem violation of propagated Google guidelines. Now, the search engine has taken into notice complaints of irrelevant and manipulated mobile redirects. In its official webmaster blog post, the company has announced severe manual penalty for unwanted and sneaky mobile based redirects. This is no different as Google always punished the law breakers, but the company is now making it clear.

Google's Warning Against Irrelevant Mobile Redirects

Google allows webmasters to redirect a desktop page to a mobile page with slight different content. Since, a desktop page usually has a lot of text content, images and navigation, Google lets webmaster cut them short for mobile users, as long as the page is similar enough. But if it looks like sending users to an irrelevant site, then Google triggers red.

Google said:

Optimizing the smaller space of a smartphone screen can mean that some content, like images, will have to be modified. Or you might want to store your website’s menu in a navigation drawer (find documentation here) to make mobile browsing easier and more effective. When implemented properly, these user-centric modifications can be understood very well by Google.

But this is against the guidelines:

The situation is similar when it comes to mobile-only redirect. Redirecting mobile users to improve their mobile experience (like redirecting mobile users from example.com/url1 to m.example.com/url1) is often beneficial to them. But redirecting mobile users sneakily to a different content is bad for user experience and is against Google’s webmaster guidelines.

Google Announces Warning Against Irrelevant Mobile Redirects

Google admits that a desktop page of a responsive website could be seen navigating to an irrelevant mobile page if the website is hacked. But as you are still responsible for your site, Google will issue a manual action. When this is done unintentionally, Google suggests a warning to register with the Google Search Console. Google listed three ways to be notified such issues:

  • Check if you are redirected when you navigate to your site on your smartphone
  • See if your users are complaining
  • Monitor your users in your site's analytics data

Tagged In: Google

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Manoj Khanna Says:

It sounds like as long as we follow best practices for search optimization we ought to be fine… but it’s a decent update that we should make sure our content is find-capable from the client’s viewpoint, regardless of gadget..

Chris Ronald Says:

This sort of redirect upsets a user’s work process and may lead them to quit using the site and go elsewhere. These broken redirects frustrate users whether they’re searching for a page, video, or something else, and our ranking changes will influence numerous types of searches.