Google made a big SEO change earlier this year concerning mobile websites. Is it affecting yours?
If you’ve ever typed ‘bbc.co.uk’ or ‘johnlewis.co.uk’ into your phone’s browser, you’ll notice the website redirects to ‘m.bbc.co.uk’ or ‘m.johnlewis.co.uk’. Whilst the two websites are designed to present the user with a seamless mobile experience, the site architecture for the mobile sites is completely different. If you’re using a mobile, when you click on any desktop-website URL – such as the latest blog shared to you – you’ll be redirected to the corresponding mobile link.
But what if the mobile version of the page doesn’t exist?
This is a common issue and the standard practice is to redirect the user to the mobile website homepage. This offers a poor user experience and Google knows it. When searching on Google on your mobile, you will now be warned by Google that the page you’re looking for might redirect you to the homepage.
Faulty redirects will land the user on the homepage: something Google doesn’t like.
Google wants your users to enjoy a good search experience, so if they decide to skip your website because of the warning, that’s your problem, not theirs. It’s not just about a good user experience, however, as the faulty redirects also hamper Google’s website indexing, crawling and ranking processes – so everyone’s losing out.
'Try anyway' is quite discouraging for a user
How to fix it?
Essentially, you need to fix the faulty redirects. Replicating the desktop page to the mobile site and mapping it correctly is the standard practice but is a time-consuming process in the long-run, as hundreds of pages are added the a website over time. Fortunately, our DV4 website platform can replicate and map the page in one click, making the process exceptionally easy.
Responsive websites don’t have any redirects. The same website serves every device, helping your users enjoy a great experience, whilst Google can understand your website content and can index every page successfully. Responsive websites look absolutely fantastic: we’ve just released one for Monarch IT. Play around with the browser size to see how it adapts to screens of any dimension.
How do I know if I’m losing site traffic due to faulty redirects?
There’s no real way to measure this, as it’s impossible to record whether a user has skipped your website in Google because of the warning given to them. Which makes it all the more important to fix the problem – you can bet your bottom dollar you won’t be gaining site traffic due to faulty redirects!