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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 24, 2013

Research highlights risk of Google downgrade from faulty mobile search redirects

Retailers must ensure faulty mobile links are corrected by Black Friday to ensure maximization of mobile returns and to minimize the risk of having pages downgraded in Google.

by Helen Leggatt

Mobile consulting and technology firm Pure Oxygen Labs has released a report that found 22% of top retailers in the U.S. with dedicated mobile sites are at risk of being downgraded by Google for sending mobile searchers to defunct pages. According to Pure Oxygen Labs, there is evidence that Google is "downgrading pages that deliver a poor mobile experience".

More than two-thirds of the U.S top retailers (67%), including outfits such as GameStop, Bluefly and the Microsoft Store, were all found to have faulty links or irrelevant redirects - links that send mobile searchers to pages Google considers unrelated, such as the mobile site homepage. Pure Oxygen Mobile's blog gives an example of how this affects the consumer experience.

"Given that mobile searchers take action within one hour, retailers have an opportunity right now to correct faulty redirects and make sure their indexed content remains discoverable for mobile shoppers searching Google this holiday season," said Brian Klais, Founder and CEO of Pure Oxygen Labs and SEO automation pioneer. "Google is implementing sweeping changes to the mobile search experience. Removing some of these easily addressable technical barriers is a crucial step brands can take to prevent mobile ranking disruptions during this critical time of year."

Other key findings from the research include:

- 97% of retailers with mobile site redirects are missing Google's required redirect header value;

- 80% of the 26,600 desktop pages analyzed redirect mobile users to mobile pages;

- 22% of retailers' mobile sites display multiple mobile redirect errors;

- 67% of retailers' mobile sites display irrelevant redirects that send smartphone requests for desktop pages to the mobile homepage or other unrelated content.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Black Friday, holiday 2013 trends, mobile site, retail

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