Google Webmaster guidelines for sneaky redirects

Google recently updated the Webmaster guidelines for sneaky redirects. A redirect is typically used to take users to the right content or page. However, a lot of websites and blackhat SEO companies might use redirects to mislead search engines. A sneaky redirect refers to a redirect which is used either to mislead search engines or to mislead people to spam pages, and is a violation of Google’s guidelines.

google redirects

Aaseesh Marina, from the Search Quality Team at Google writes on the recent blogpost at the Google webmasters blog:

Some examples of sneaky redirects include:

  • 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.

Using JavaScript to redirect users can be a legitimate practice. For example, if you redirect users to an internal page once they’re logged in, you can use JavaScript to do so…Keep in mind that 301 redirects are best when moving your site, but you could use a JavaScript redirect for this purpose if you don’t have access to your website’s server.

Aaseesh also stated that Google might take action against websites engaging in the above including removing them from the Google index. If you’re not sure if you’re using the right redirects or in case you feel your websites have been hacked to include compromised redirects, feel free to reach out to us at and we would love to help you out!


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