Don’t Use Sneaky Redirects, Google warns webmasters

Google Webmaster Guidelines for Sneaky Redirects

Sneaky redirects are an act of sending a visitor to a different page or URL than the one they requested.  This is a Black Hat SEO practice. Google is now stricter about Sneaky Redirects. In the Google help documentation examples of sneaky redirects are provided.

  • Search engines have 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.

Examples of Sneaky Redirects

  • The site shows a different content to search engine, while redirects users to different content.
  • The site shows a normal page to desktop users, while redirects mobile users to a completely different spam domain.

Google has updated his guideline for webmaster on “Sneaky Redirects”.

“Redirects are often used by webmasters to help forward visitors from one page to another,” says Google’s Aaseesh Marina.

Some redirects manipulates or deceive search engines. They display different content to human users than to search engines. Google quality guidelines forbid these kinds of sneaky redirects says Google’s Aaseesh Marina.

Google reminds webmasters that it may take manual action, including removal from the index, in reaction to any violation of guidelines. Don’t find out the hard way.

Google has also updated its hacked content guidelines to include redirects and compromised websites.

Here’s some Advice by Maile Ohye, Developer Program tech lead.

In last few years, this is one of the most common tricks among spammers. They serve one version of the page for Googlebot and another version of the page to users.

Sometimes they are providing better content to Googlebot and serving a page that is completely different. When users click on the link, they show a completely different topic to users.

Are all the redirects bad for SEO ?

No. Google knows that there are some cases when using redirect is fine. For example, redirecting the user when they log into a website, is fine. But again as long as it isn’t manipulating the end user. Also, it is fine to use redirect If you are moving your website to a different domain.


Don’t use Sneaky Redirect. Or Google might penalize your website.