Redirects for SEO
Are you working on your SEO strategy and need help with redirects, we can help. Our post will tell you everything you need to know about redirection and how to use it to improve your on-page SEO efforts.
Redirects for SEO
What is an SEO Redirect?
An SEO redirect is a set of instructions that sends search engines and site visitors to a URL other than the one they intended to visit. While this may seem nefarious, it is a very common practice. Redirects are often used to send users from outdated pages to new ones, or to a page funnel that will better allow them to find the items, services, or answers they seek. There are a few different types of SEO redirects but the most common are Meta Refresh redirects, 302 redirects, and 301 redirects.
Explanation Of Redirect Types
A 302 redirect means moved temporarily. At times a 301 and a 302 redirect will get the same treatment, but in most cases, they don’t. If you plan to only change the target page for a short while, this type of redirect is ideal, otherwise, stick with a 301 to maintain link equity.
A 301 redirect means moved permanently. This is a permanent URL redirect that will send the full rank power of the original link to the new page. When you see 301, it specifically stands for the HTTP status code of a permanent redirect. If you are really interested in boosting your SEO efforts, a 301 is the best type to use to reach your goals.
A 307 redirect also means moved temporarily and is an upgraded version of the 302. Most web browsers and search engines will treat 307 redirects in the same way as a 302. If you are planning to run maintenance on your site or do some upgrades, a 307 is a good choice. It is important to note that your server needs to have identified by search engines as being 1.1 compatible.
A Meta Refresh is a page-level redirect. 301, 302, and 307 redirects occur at the server level. A Meta Refresh redirect tends to be much slower than other types and is not effective for SEO purposes. Most often a Meta Refresh redirect is used on pages that often become stuck, or pages displayed at the end of a specific process. For example, following a payment screen, you may notice a page that says “click here” if the page does not change after a certain time frame. There is a small amount of link equity passed along Meta Refresh redirects, but the purpose of this type is mainly to restore the visitor to the main site.
Using Redirects For SEO
Using redirects is a common practice on websites of all sizes. It is important to follow some general SEO best practices to ensure that your ranking is not negatively affected. In almost every instance a 301 redirect is the best option. It is good for search engines and site visitors. Using a 301 lets the bots that return search results know that the page a visitor is seeking has been moved permanently.
This lets all search engines know that the location of the redirected page and updated content can be found in a new place. The previous positive rankings will be transferred to the new link while also maintaining their original value. Your visitors will still find your old page but be sent to your new page when they click. This is in essence getting double the ranking but only needing to maintain one page.
Just keep in mind that it does take time for search engine bots to start noticing a 301 redirect. Once they do, it will take a bit more time to recognize it and pass along the existing rankings to the new target. If your old URL is not crawled often, this process may take even longer. Meta refreshes are another way to transfer people from one site to the other, or one page to the next, but it is not very effective in passing on the rankings of the original page. If you are using redirects and changing your domain, the transfer becomes even more complex.
Methods Of Implementing Redirects
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