What is a Faulty Redirect in Google Search Console?

When it comes to monitoring and maintaining your website, Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) is a powerful resource that you have available at your disposal. The ultimate goal of Google Search Console is to help you maximize your website’s performance and presence in the Google search results. Not only does it offer guidance on best practices, but it also identifies any errors that exist within your website. One of the common smartphone URL errors that you may encounter is a faulty redirect.

What is a Faulty Redirect?

A faulty redirect is when the desktop version of a webpage wrongly redirects smartphone users to the mobile version of a page that is not relevant to their query. There are many websites that have unique URLs to serve desktop and smartphone visitors differently. For instance, the desktop version would be www.mywebsite.com and the smartphone version would be m.mywebsite.com

An example of a faulty redirect would be if a smartphone user tried to visit www.mywebsite.com/page and they were redirected to m.mywebsite.com

How Do You Fix a Faulty Redirect?

While there are several URL errors that are not a huge priority to address, a faulty redirect is an error that requires your attention. With so many individuals doing most or all of their web browsing on their smartphones these days, it is imperative that you provide them with an experience that is positive and easy to use. If they cannot get to the pages that they need, then they may be quick to visit elsewhere. Following are a few tips to help you fix a faulty redirect.

  1. Configure your server so that it sends smartphone visitors to the corresponding URL on the smartphone version of your website.
  2. If smartphone users want to visit a page that does not have a smartphone equivalent, send them to the desktop version. This is a better option than redirecting them to the homepage of the smartphone version. The formatting may be a little off, but at least they will get the content that they are looking for.
  3. Use your own smartphone to browse through your website to see how the pages are redirected.
  4. Use the data from Google Search Console to identify where the problems exist with your server configuration.
  5. You can implement responsive web design to avoid this issues entirely, since it will display the same content for both desktop and smartphone users.
  6. Review Google’s recommendations for creating unique URLs for the desktop and smartphone versions of your website.