Google updates its Webmaster Guidelines
Better explanation of sneaky results provided
Google has updated its Webmaster Guidelines to provide a clearer understanding of the types of redirects that they forbid.
The use of redirects to deceive search engines or send users to content that is different to that available to crawlers is a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines. Known as ‘sneaky redirects ‘, they can manipulate Google into indexing an original page rather than a redirect and also cause visitors to view pages that they did not expect to see.
The quality guidelines have been updated to include the following examples to help webmasters better recognise problematic redirects:
- Search engines shown one type of content while users are redirected to something significantly different.
- Desktop users receive a normal page, while mobile users are redirected to a completely different spam domain.
Google can choose to take a manual action and de-index sites that violate its quality guidelines in order to continue providing users with quality and relevant search results.
Google also updates hacked content guidelines
Google has also updated its hacked content guidelines to include redirects on compromised websites. This provides information on how and why hackers may use redirects, and the steps to follow in order to recognise and repair any issues.
Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, has said: “Redirects can prove valuable when used for the right reasons. While you have nothing to worry about if you are using them correctly, just remember to be careful and adhere to the guidelines that Google has in place.”