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 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.