Redirecting mobile users sneakily to different content is against Google webmaster guidelines

Usually we redirect users when we are changing site domains. Take for example when bloggers or site owners making a site migration from a free blogpost domain to their own purchase domain name with paid site hosting service, this is when we are required to redirect readers to the new site. In fact I think this is the main reason the redirecting feature is created for. Unfortunately we tend to have the habit of making use of things for other purposes and unleash their full potential. As in this case, some site owners tend to make use of redirecting feature to make money.

The most obvious example is redirecting readers to a landing page of affiliate products or advertisement showcase. Sometimes it wasn’t the intention of the site owners to redirect readers. It might be due to a hidden third party script installed without being notice or being a target of hacking. In most cases it was due to the first reason. Especially if the site owners often have third party ads installed or trying out various widgets or WordPress plugins. Chances of getting hidden third party script installed are greater than usual.

So what will Google do if they find out your site is redirecting readers sneakily? According to the blog post title “Detect and get rid of unwanted sneaky mobile redirects” from Google Webmaster Central Blog, below is the action Google will be taking.

It’s a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines to redirect a user to a page with the intent of displaying content other than what was made available to the search engine crawler (more information on sneaky redirects). To ensure quality search results for our users, the Google Search Quality team can take action on such sites, including removal of URLs from our index. When we take manual action, we send a message to the site owner via Search Console. Therefore, make sure you’ve set up a Search Console account.

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