Tag Archive for: Google Webmaster Guidelines


While it is increasingly important for your site to be mobile-friendly, there are some unique risks to running a mobile-friendly site webmasters should be aware of. Google has been encouraging sites to implement mobile-friendly strategies, but it is also cracking down on mobile-only redirects if they are used for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.

Most of the time, mobile-only redirects are used to send mobile users to content they requested in a mobile-friendly format, however some use the redirects deceptively to direct smartphone traffic to unwanted content. In some cases these deceptive redirects can send smartphone users to entirely different websites than the one they requested.

The majority of webmasters aim to use redirects properly, but it has recently been found that deceptive redirects can find their ways onto websites without the webmaster ever knowing. This can potentially happen one of two ways:

  • Advertising: A malicious script installed to display ads may redirect mobile users to a different site without the webmasters knowledge.
  • Hacking: Some hackers set up redirects to spammy or malicious domains for mobile users only.

While it has become known that these redirects can be created without a webmaster’s awareness, Google has recently made it clear they will continue penalizing sites with these deceptive redirects. Google’s webmaster guidelines explicitly forbid these types of redirects and the search engine says it will enact manual penalties when they are discovered.

Thankfully, there is an incredibly easy test you can do right now to make sure your site hasn’t come down with a case of deceptive redirects. Just search for it in Google on your phone and click on the results.

Google also encourages webmasters to monitor their sites for user complaints as well as regularly reviewing analytics data for unusual activity such as any sudden drops in mobile traffic.

If you do find any evidence of deceptive mobile-only redirects, Google recommends checking Search Console for any warnings about site hacks. If you don’t see any alerts, it is possible there may be an issue with third-party scripts on your site. To figure out which one is causing problems, you will have to go through and disable them one at a time until the problem is resolved.

With the constant stream of news coming out of the online marketing industry, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest updates without missing some important information. That’s why we compile all the news you may have missed this week all in one convenient place every Friday. Let’s get started:

Google Updates Guidelines Regarding Redirects

Google has had a policy against redirects intended to deceive or manipulate search engines or users, but this week they updated their Webmaster Guidelines to explicitly include mobile-specific redirects. They also include an example of a deceptive mobile redirect with a scenario where “desktop users might receive a normal page, while hackers might redirect all mobile users to a completely different spam domain.” Google details the revisions in an announcement on their Webmaster Central Blog.

Google Wants To Help You Remember Where You Parked


According to Android Authority, Google’s latest update to the Android version of the Google Search App includes a new feature which can help users remember where they parked their car and even give directions on how to get back to that spot. For users parking at large venues, malls, or in heavily-populated areas, this could potentially be a lifesaver. The parking reminder works by asking if you want to save a location as a Google Now card. Then when you are ready to get back to your car, you just tap on the card in the app and directions will appear.

Search Ads Get More Revenue per Conversion When Integrated With Social


Online marketing is quickly reaching the point where you can’t approach it in a vacuum and hope for success. The days of keeping SEO, PPC, and social media marketing apart are fading fast, if they aren’t completely gone already. A new study from Marin Software confirms this y showing that advertising performs vastly better when integrated with a social advertising strategy. Jessica Lee breaks down the details of the study at Search Engine Watch, but you can also get the full white paper here.

YouTube Now Lets Channel Owners Attach Short Intros To Their Videos

This week, YouTube announced that channel owners can now add a three-second intro to their videos, allowing them to build a stronger and more cohesive brand presence across the video platform. Channel owners must upload the intro as an unlisted video, then click “Add a channel branding intro” on the InVideo Programming page. At that point, channel owners can select which videos should include the intro. However, YouTube has said intros can not be used as ads, sponsorship, or product placements, and should not be used by channels whose videos act as advertisements.

Twitter Earns 14 Million Monthly Active Users in Q1 of 2014

Twitter’s earnings report for the first quarter of 2014 shows they continue to grow in just about every area, even outperforming Wall Street estimates in all but one area. The area in which they have continued to struggle is gaining monthly active users, but even there Twitter is showing very positive signs. While not beating Wall Street estimates, Twitter monthly users did grow by 14 million since Q4 2013, culminating in 255 million total users. This is substantially more growth than shown n Q4 2013.

Vine is Coming To Desktop With New Features


Up until now, Vine has been confined to smartphones, but this week the social video platform has made the leap to desktop with a well laid-out website and some new features. The new features include top navigation in the left which includes the home feed and popular now feed, and all feeds can now be linked together in TV mode. The biggest addition however is the new search bar that lets users search by tag, person, or location for the first time. You can get more details in the announcement on Vine’s blog, or you can see the new site for yourself here.

Apparently Google in Japan got a big penalty placed on them by Google themselves, taking their toolbar PageRank level from 9 to 5 (Search Engine Land posted an update about this on an earlier story they had).  This is a huge sign – one, that Google takes bad actions by any site (even themselves) very seriously.

Only now has the penalty been removed, although the toolbar PageRank is only up to 8 (not 9).  That’s almost a full year of penalization (11 months, to be precise).

The malady that Google Japan performed?  They paid bloggers to review a new Google widget.  This isn’t the first time Google instated a penalty on themselves – it does go to show that Google enforces their rules consistently, even against themselves.

It demonstrates that if you want to be sure to keep good rankings, you do have to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.