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How Redirecting URLs Can Impact SEO

How Redirecting URLs Can Impact SEO

How Redirecting URLs Can Impact SEO

What is Redirection?

The process of redirection involves forwarding one URL to another. To prevent organic traffic from being lost, you must use the proper redirect. This will prevent you from giving search engines inaccurate information about your page’s status. 301 redirects and 302 redirects are the two most common types of redirect. The HTTP status codes 301 and 302 tell Google whether a page was successfully accessed.

Redirect reasons

  • The original URL is no longer available.
  • To secure your whole website, you’ve acquired an SSL certificate.
  • The webpage is no longer available.
  • A webpage needs maintenance, and you would like to redirect users to a temporary landing page while changes are being made.
  • Pages of products or services that are no longer available have been deleted.
  • The CMS platform is switched.
  • Someone is linking to a 404 page, and you want to move that link elsewhere.
  • An entirely new navigation system has been implemented.

301 Redirects

Redirecting the original page to a new address is known as 301 Moved Permanently, and this indicates to the Google bots that the original URL has been changed. A 301 redirect, or permanent redirect, applies the same link weight and penalties as the original page to the redirected page. By using this method, search engines will be informed about the new location of the original page and that the original content can also be found at the new location. 301 redirects ensure that the next time Google crawls your site, the previous URL will be replaced with the new URL after the redirect has been set up. 301 redirections are the most effective method for transferring search engine authority and search signals as you will be able to retain more than 90% of the historical SEO authority.

How 301 Redirects affect SEO

The 301 redirects will benefit SEO since the whole Page Rank of the original page will be forwarded to the new one. As a result, your new page will have roughly the same authority as the original content.

302 Redirects

302 redirects, also known as 302 Found, are temporary redirects that webmasters commonly use when performing maintenance on a URL and then re-enable the original URL after the work is complete. The 302 redirects are also used by web developers when showing their clients the potential changes for a new page without hurting the rankings of the original URL. A permanent 302 redirect, however, can significantly damage the rankings and traffic value of your website. A 302 ranking does not pass on the quality of the original page, such as link weight or page authority, so it is suitable only for short-term use.

Google knows it’s much easier to implement 302 redirects using JavaScript or tags than it is to implement 301 redirects in your .htaccess file. They state they can identify when webmasters mistype 301 but meant 302. However, it is still not worth the risk. Therefore, you should always use 301 redirects to prevent Google from indexing your old URL and showing both URLs in the search results, thus deeming the new URL duplicate.

How 302 Redirects affect SEO

Even though the 302 redirect is temporary, page authority does not pass from the old URL to the new URL. Therefore, search engines will always treat the new URL as separate from the original, so it will not impede the authority or links of the original.

303 Redirects

303 Redirects work similarly to 302 temporary redirects. The browser is informed that the resource it attempted to access has been replaced with another.

How 303 Redirects affect SEO

303 Redirects have no impact on SEO. In addition, the new URL is not cacheable by the search engine, and page authority or links are not forwarded. They differ in one way, however. Search engines don’t cache 303 redirects so that they won’t include them in their cache. If the redirect destination targets change, and you do not want any of the pages of the original redirect to be cached by Google, you will need to do this.

Redirect Types and Impact on Google Search

In contrast to visitors, Google treats redirects differently depending on the strength of signals they send to the target URL.

There are two types of redirects – temporary and permanent.

  • Google regards a permanent redirect as an indication that the target URL should be displayed in search results.
  • Google uses a temporary redirect to indicate it should redirect to a URL shown in search results as a weak signal.

Google’s help page now includes detailed information on the following types of redirects:

Permanent server-side redirections

Changing the URL in search results is the best way to do it. Google suggests using this method whenever possible. An HTTP status code of 301 or 308 indicates that a page has moved permanently to a new location.

Temporary redirects on the server-side

Allows visitors to visit a new page temporarily while ensuring that Google displays the old URL for longer periods.

JavaScript location redirects

JavaScript is interpreted and executed by Google Search using the Web Rendering Service once the crawling of the URL has been completed.

Crypto redirects

An introduction linking to a new page is added with a short explanation. It helps users find your new page, and Google may recognize it as a crypto redirect.

Here are some common SEO mistakes when it comes to redirects

Several theories have been discussed regarding redirects and how they may impact an SEO strategy. Using redirects is easy when you know what they are, how they work, and when to use them. Let us see the most common mistakes search engine optimization professionals make while implementing a redirect

 Moving domains without setting up Redirects first

These types of incidents are all too common, unfortunately. An organization migrates its website to a new domain, launches the new site, and immediately passes the rest off to the SEO team, expecting traffic levels to continue as before. There is a possibility that the new domain has already been crawled and indexed during the transition period. Google views the new domain as a duplicate of the old one since no redirects have been in place and could even penalize it for that. Make sure all redirects are set up before the new site goes live to avoid this. By using Google Search Console, you can submit the newly designed site to Google’s index and let it know to follow and understand the redirects on its own.

Redirect to a non-relevant URL

A redirect must be relevant to the topic for it to work from an SEO perspective. A redirect to a random page won’t have much of an effect on your Local SEO. Due to its ignorance of the link authority between the two pages, Google may not pass it between them, reducing the redirect’s positive effects on SEO. Whenever possible, redirect traffic to the nearest, most relevant alternative to the original page.

Setting up a redirect chain

It’s possible to create a newer version of a webpage and redirect the old one to it. After that, you create a new version and set up another redirect. When a single redirect was in place, it eventually descended into a chain of three, four, or more. It doesn’t matter to your users now because they will never see how many jumps between the original and target pages. However, Google does. Several search engines crawlers may stop following redirects after two, resulting in never reaching the latest page.


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