As we mentioned in a previous update, Google has announced it would be taking action against websites that intentionally or unintentionally have sneaky mobile redirects in place.
A new related development to this is that Google is apparently actively targeting deceptive and unscrupulous mobile affiliate traffic networks. These networks essentially capture the traffic of unsuspecting mobile website visitors and then drive it to unrelated landing pages of websites which pay for this traffic. When this happens mobile users can end up being caught in redirect hell and literally get bounced from one page after another, none of which they have any interest in.
Whilst selling their mobile traffic will be a deliberate strategy for some publishers, according to Google it often happens without publishers or the advertising networks involved being aware this is occurring.
Why should you care?
If it’s happened to you then you’ll know it’s very frustrating and certainly not a great user experience.
Redirecting traffic like this is not new — it’s an evil tactic porn networks have long used, and well before the advent of Mobile search.
Google’s announcement is welcome news. The fact it’s putting efforts into being able to better detect this and then take action against sites doing so will hopefully stop the practice becoming more prevalent.
And, as noted by Google, sites involved in this aren’t necessarily doing so deliberately. As mentioned in our previous article there are actions you can take to mitigate the risk of this happening to your website (and becoming collateral damage).
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Mark is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire which he founded back in 2002. Prior to establishing SureFire he worked for KPMG Consulting. Today Mark heads up SEO, embracing the challenges that can come with complex website implementations. Outside of work, his interests beyond his family are running, snowsports, diving and fishing (badly).