One of the most annoying anachronisms from the early mobile web has attracted Google’s ire: The company is now calling out faulty mobile redirects in the United States. “Have you ever used Google Search on your smartphone and clicked on a promising-looking result, only to end up on the mobile site’s homepage, with no idea why the page you were hoping to see vanished?” Google wrote on its blog. “This is such a common annoyance that we’ve even seen comics about it.”
If you’re searching Google on a mobile browser, it will indicate when users will be directed to the homepage, instead of the page Google Search suggested. The primary link will be deactivated, and a small gray “May open the site’s homepage” now appears below the faulty result. If you still want to visit the site, there will be a small “Try anyway” link below the result.
Webmasters will start seeing messages from Google prompting them to adopt “responsive design,” or to fix their redirect structure so that users are taken to the page they requested. As more site operators fix this problem, browsing on the smartphone will become just a little less annoying.