For about five days as of this writing, when a searcher clicks your website URL within your Google Map listing, they receive a “redirect notice” from Google.
The notice reads: “The previous page is sending you to [the URL you clicked on],” and then adds, “If you do not want to visit that page, you can return to the previous page.”
It stands to reason that this would cause a drop in traffic from Google Maps, possibly impacting local businesses in terms of foot traffic and website traffic.
If you try searching for a business on Google Maps, then click on the URL within their local panel, it won’t send you to the site right away.
These reports came in five days ago in this Google support thread. During these first five days, dozens of complaints were posted in the thread, as well as other threads in that support forum.
Is this a feature or a bug? Is Google making this change or was this change made by mistake?
There’s a good chance that this is a mistake because it doesn’t work this way with other links within the local panel or other search results.