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I received the following regarding a URL of a page recommending a feature that only applies to desktop users:

Faulty Redirect

URLs redirect to an irrelevant landing page instead of the equivalent, smartphone-optimized version of the desktop page.

Thats because it was pointing to the mobile home page. I have since fixed it.

But my question is how is it possible that google could request the URL of the mobile version of the page, when the URL to the desktop version is advertised but theres no mention of the mobile version anywhere? I didn't even submit a sitemap of the mobile version of the site to google, because I don't want to waste time advertising similar content to google when I already submitted sitemaps to the desktop version of my site.

Is it a new natural thing now that google guesses the mobile version of a desktop URL and just randomly scans it to see if it is a mobile version of the same content?

And just out of curiosity, If I made a webpage in the future that is solely for desktop users (such as a multimedia gaming site with java and/or flash installed), will google try to find a mobile version of it and begin complaining about "faulty redirects" like crazy?

  • Interesting thought. Are there no links to this page? – closetnoc Jun 11 '15 at 1:42
  • Not a single link to the mobile URL google is whining at. – Mike Jun 11 '15 at 1:44
  • I knew that- just double-checking the obvious. ;-) It would be interesting to know what people here will come up with. I cannot imagine anything right now... – closetnoc Jun 11 '15 at 1:47
  • "Faulty Redirect" - isn't that how Google is requesting the mobile version? – MrWhite Jun 11 '15 at 7:20
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Googlebot crawls your website with a mobile user agent:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A5376e Safari/8536.25 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)

It uses that crawl to determine how your site is configured for mobile users. Because the user agent is similar to the iPhone, Google expects to get the same redirects that an iPhone would get.


If you don't have a mobile version of the page, it would be best not to redirect at all. Then mobile users would see the desktop version and could possibly use it with pinch and zoom. If they click around to other pages on your site, they would get redirected to the mobile website.

  • I guess I'll have to take that last paragraph you wrote more seriously even tho it doesn't provide the best experience. – Mike Jun 11 '15 at 23:05
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    Having desktop-only pages is fine; some things just don't work (or at least not yet!) that well on mobile. Don't redirect them to an unrelated page just because that one happens to be mobile-friendly. – John Mueller Jun 17 '15 at 8:20

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