Is Redirecting Users Based on their Location Consider Spam?

Updated on: 2 July 2014

We all hate spam, including Google. There are many ways of spamming such as putting non-related comments in a web page. Many are confuse if redirecting is consider a spam on Google’s view? Video Highlights Google Webmasters was asked on the following question regarding geo-location used in search engine: “Will Google consider it spam if I offer useful information to users (price, USPs) based on their geo-location? An example of this is that it shows X content to search engines while users get Y content.”

  • Google experts reiterate that geo-location is not considered spam as long as it only redirects a geographically specific IP address to a page or domain with matching geo-location. For instance, if a French IP address accesses your site, your page redirects them to your French version page or French domain.
  • Google reminds web owners to treat search engines just like how they treat their web visitors. In another words, the return content must be the same.
  • Redirecting is not spam according to Google because the search engine also does it. For instance, if a particular user comes in, the engine would send them to what they think is the most appropriate page based on various signals but usually on the IP address of the actual user.
  • As to the showing of X content to Google and Y content to users, Google noted that web owners should be wary about this feature. Showing different contents to search engines and users is known as cloaking and its not recommended.

In order to have higher SEO ranking, you should:

  • Handle Google bot and geo-location the proper way such as not using special codes, which could breach the Google and other search engines policy.
  • Not worry so much on geo-locating, which is connected to spamming because as long as you treat Google bot just like any other users, you are perfectly fine and without risks of a spam report.

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