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Google To Warn Mobile Users About Frustrating Redirects

Tim Maytom

search result redirectGoogle is enabling smartphone users to avoid being redirected to a website's home page by servers that aren't set up to handle mobile web traffic. The search giant is also encouraging webmasters to fix any links they may have that cause this error, and has created tools to help them be identified.

When Google detects that smartphone users are being sent to a site's mobile homepage instead of the page they requested, it may add a warning below the link, offering users a chance to "learn more" or "try anyway". The change to search results has only been implemented for English search results in the US so far, with no details regarding a wider rollout of the service.

It has also added a section to its webmaster tools, allowing administrators to detect if their site has any errors of this kind, known as a 'faulty redirect'. In a post explaining the changes, the search giant recommends that it a page doesn't have a smartphone browser equivalent, websites should link people to the desktop version, and also encourages administrators to use responsive web design.

As smartphone use continues to grow, with more and more people using their phone as their primary way of browsing the internet, small frustrating errors leftover from the pre-mobile internet like this may hurt a site's ability to develop and retain an audience.

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