Three of the Most Important 301 Redirect Tips

by 
mcampagnini
 on 
September 28, 2019

What is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a notification that a website has permanently moved from one URL to another. For example, Product 1 at www.online-store.com/product-1 has been discontinued and replaced with Product 2 at www.online-store.com/product-2. A 301 redirect points all traffic originally intended for Product 1 over to Product 2.

How can these 301 Redirect Tips help?

By notifying search engines of the permanent redirect, we can keep most of the search authority from Product 1. However, not establishing a 301 redirect in our previous example would have Google see our Product 2 as a completely new page, eliminating all of the valuable ranking history of Product 1.

301 Redirect Tips #1 - Plan Ahead

In 2009, toy giant Toys "R" Us purchased toys.com for 5.1 million dollars. Already at the top of the google search rankings for toys (along with Amazon, Lego, and Walmart), Toys "R" Us decided to use a 301 redirect to direct all traffic going to any toys.com to the toysrus.com homepage. With this move, toys.com was unlisted from Google's database; the 301 redirect notifies Google that the original page no longer exists and only the destination page should be indexed.

Perhaps a better decision would have been for Toys "R" Us to set 301 redirects for each toy category or product to the equivalent on toysrus.com. For example, www.toys.com/dolls could have been redirected to www.toysrus.com/dolls instead of directing all incoming links to the homepage. This may have been intentional, but this 301 redirect tip is to consider all avenues and plan ahead before implementing your redirects.

301 Redirect Tip #2 - Beware of Redirect Loops

In this 301 Redirect Tip, beware of the order of your redirects! There have been several cases where clients set up 301 redirects from www versions to non-www versions, then an additional redirect was setup previously from non-www to www. This creates an infinite loop where the user will never land on a page. 

301 Redirect Tip #3 - Don't Wait to Set Up Your Redirects

The widely popular gossip blog, Perez Hilton, generates approximately $575,000 per month. Prior to the current website address, the blog was found at PageSixSixSix.com. When making the switch to the current blog URL, site owner, Mario Armando Lavanderia Jr., should establish 301 Redirects immediately following the launch of PerezHilton.com. Failing to set up the redirect would notify Google (on the next page crawl) that PerezHilton.com is a new page and not gain any of the associated ranking from PageSixSixSix.com. 

Extra Reading

Visit the links below for more information.

Find out How to Set Up 301 Redirects in this Wikipedia article.

Free Popular WordPress plugins for 301 Redirects are Redirection or Easy Redirect Manager.

Many SEO Plugins also include this feature. Try Yoast ($$$), SEOPress ($), or RankMath ($).

When to Use a 301 Redirect

A 301 Redirect should be used in any of the following scenarios:

  • Renaming or rebranding a website
  • Forcing SSL Protocols
  • Pointing misspelled urls to the correct website (gogle.com to google.com)
  • Deleting an old post, page, or product

A Temporary 302 Redirect

A 302 Redirect notifies search engines that the redirect is temporary. Use a 302 Redirection on pages undergoing days of maintenance or updates. If a 302 Redirect stays in place for too long, Google will start to treat it as a 301 Redirect instead.

Three of the Most Important 301 Redirect Tips Conclusion

Our 301 Redirect Tips will help you to retain your SEO rankings and prevent Google from delisting your website. Redirects no longer penalize your page score like they did in the past, use them wisely and plan ahead. Don't lose years of hard work because of a careless slip.

Posted by 
mcampagnini
on 
September 28, 2019
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