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Mobile redirects - What are they and how do I troubleshoot them?

What are they?

For some years now, mobile redirects are becoming an increasing nuisance on both iOS and Android devices. The issue occurs when users visit their favourite websites and are automatically redirected (mostly without warning) to the platform’s app store. The ads have been known to promote betting apps and games.

 

Unfortunately they’re not easy replicate which makes troubleshooting them difficult. For example we have seen redirects occur; only on certain devices, selected networks (EE, O2, Vodafone ect.) and at certain times of the day. Additionally, without the browser providing a definitive landing page or being able to inspect element, it makes finding the source extremely difficult.

How to troubleshoot them?

If you experience a mobile redirect, the immediate action you can take is to take multiple screenshots of it in progress. This will provide the support team two important bits of information:

  • An exact timestamp when the redirect occurred.
  • Details of the network in use.

With this, along with the IP address of the mobile device (search ‘What is my IP into your mobile browser), only then can we start to investigate.

Initial investigation will involve examining the RTB brands that served to the IP address during this time. If any look suspicious, we’ll immediately block the domain and raise it to the demand partner responsible to confirm and relay any information back to you.