How to find and fix sneaky redirects for mobile devices
What are sneaky redirects
Sneaky redirects mean that the user's mobile device is redirected to content which can't be accessed by a crawler, for example, WAP-click affiliate programs. These redirects violate recommendations from Google. Search engine sanctions can be applied to resources using such redirects by removing pages from the index.
In this case, we are not talking about redirecting users of mobile devices to an adapted lightweight version of the website hosted on a subdomain. Redirecting mobile traffic to other URLs is problematic as it interferes with normal access to the desired resource.
This kind of redirect can either occur by the website owners' will or appear without their knowledge for the following reasons:
This is a file that must be placed for mobile operators. They control the participation of the resource in the WAP-click affiliate program which sells visitors which come to your website from a portable device.
You can run a check in the browser developer tools in Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. If there is no sneaky redirect, you will be redirected to the checked resource will be carried out regardless of the device used.
Here's what the interface of the developer tool console and the place where you choose the device type look like:
How to check redirects and find sneaky redirects
In those cases, there may be two information sources:
To be automatically informed about significant declines in mobile traffic, you can set notifications in Google Analytics.
To do that, go to the subsection "Custom alerts" of the "Custom reports" section:
Removing sneaky redirects from the website
After you delete every script, make sure the redirect disappeared. If a script that causes a redirect to a website is still there, you must remove it from the project and contact the advertiser or developer of the widget to find out the next possible actions if necessary.
How to avoid sneaky redirects
There are currently many options for monetizing content for mobile devices that are convenient for visitors and do not lead to the removal of a resource from the index of search engines; it is necessary to use them.
It is also important to only install widgets and social media buttons from verified official sources on the website.
To avoid these difficulties, you need to be smart when choosing advertisers, install widgets and buttons only from official resources, and inspect the project with the antivirus if you suspect that there are any problems.
This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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