Google To Warn Searchers When A Mobile URL Redirects To The Homepage

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Don’t annoy mobile searchers. That’s the message behind a new warning that Google is showing in mobile search results on smartphones.

On the Webmaster Central blog, Google alerted webmasters late yesterday that it will let smartphone searchers know if it thinks a website has a “faulty redirect” in place that sends the searcher to your home page, not the page they clicked on.

We’d like to spare users the frustration of landing on irrelevant pages and help webmasters fix the faulty redirects. Starting today in our English search results in the US, whenever we detect that smartphone users are redirected to a homepage instead of the page they asked for, we may note it below the result. If you still wish to proceed to the page, you can click “Try anyway.”

As you can see above in Google’s sample, the warning is front and center with the search result, and may discourage users from clicking.

But Google’s not just warning searchers; there’s also help for webmasters. The “Crawl Errors” section of Webmaster Tools will offer specific information about faulty redirects affecting smartphone crawling.

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There’s more advice about fixing faulty redirects in Google’s blog post, and in Google’s webmaster help pages.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Google: Webmaster Central | SEO: Mobile Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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