Google published some advice on their Webmaster Central blog today on how to fix faulty redirects. Specifically, how to prevent smartphone users from clicking on a link to a page on your site and getting redirected to the homepage.
This happens when your website is not properly set up to handle requests from smartphones.
In order to spare users the frustration of landing on irrelevant pages, Google is making a change to its English search results in the US starting today.
Now, when Google detects that smartphone users are redirected to a homepage instead of the page they want, it will be noted below the result. If users still want to take their chances, so to speak, they can click on “Try anyway”.
In addition, Google is providing advice and resources to help site owners direct visitors the pages they want.
Google’s Advice For Fixing Faulty Redirects For Smartphones
Google suggests that you do a few searches on your own phone to see how your site handles smartphone traffic from Google’s search results pages.
Keep an eye on Webmaster Tools, because Google will send you a message if it detects that any of your site’s pages are redirecting smartphone users to the homepage. Google will also show you any faulty redirects detected in the Smartphone Crawl Errors section of Webmaster Tools.
With this information in hand, Google suggests that you investigate any faulty redirects and fix them.
You can do this by using the example URLs provided in Webmaster Tools as a starting point to debug exactly where the problem is with your server configuration.
Then set up your server so that it redirects smartphone users to the equivalent URL on your smartphone site.
Google recommends that you keep users on the desktop page, rather than redirecting them to the smartphone site’s homepage, if a page on your site doesn’t have a smartphone equivalent, Doing nothing is better than doing something wrong in this case.
Try using responsive web design, which serves the same content for desktop and smartphone users.
For more information, Google encourages you to read their full recommendations.