Can I redirect site visitors based on IP without pissing off Google?
 by Kristi Hagen

Can I redirect site visitors based on IP without pissing off Google?

  • I am building a site that will have a feature to redirect a visitor to a specific landing page based on the user's IP address. The landing page will look similar to the home page but differ only in the text located in the top banner section of the page.

    My plan is to "no index" these redirect pages to prevent search engines from crawling them. However I'm concerned that Google might view this as deceptive SEO. I should note that the percentage of traffic redirected would be far less than 1/2 percent of all visitors.

    Is there a way I can do this without risking the wrath of Google?

Answer:

The short answer is that Google doesn't like this practice and there is some risk is utilizing it.

But, if you're determined to proceed anyway, your first concern is; how are you going to prevent Google from getting redirected? ...are you going to only redirect very specific IP addresses?

The reality is that you probably can get away with using this tactic IF you don't redirect Google/Bing/etc. And, you must bear in mind that Google Bots are NOT all on the same IP blocks — specifically and especially the Google manual inspection team. You have to consider there's a slim chance a quality reviewer will get redirected and therefore stumble upon your "violation" of their TOS even if you employ measures to detect Google and/or only redirect specific IP addresses.

So, to summarize... Yes, you could probably get away with it if you pick only specific IP blocks to redirect, but No this isn't really a great idea. We recommend finding a way to display that line of text to your "special" IP visitors on the same page and without the redirect.SEN article end

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