Redirecting may seem like an easy process, but there goes a lot into it as well. It has its own benefits when it comes to on-site SEO. Websites also change their structures and tend to move from one domain to another. In the following blog, we will help you to learn about redirects, so you can correctly use them without losing your rankings and helping the search engines know the changes you have made on your website.
What is a Redirect?
Redirecting is a process involving the forwarding of one URL from another one. Both users and the search engines are directed to a different URL from the other URL where it was initially requested. There are numerous types of redirects with their own uses.
Types of Redirects
There are three main types of redirects including 301 Moved Permanently, 302 Moved Temporarily, and Found.
301 Moved Permanently
A 301 direct refers to the permanent redirect process through which almost 99 percent of the link equity or merely the ranking power transfers to the redirected page. The HTTP status code is associated with 301 types of redirect. This is why it is also considered to be one of the best methods for redirecting on websites.
Accordingly, this type of redirect indicated to the browsers that the resource or website has changed its location. And therefore, it also suggests that the browser needs to use the new URL for any further requests. Accordingly, when the search engines identify a 301 redirect, they can transfer all the ranking of the previous page or site to the new page or site.
However, before you make this change, it is essential whether you actually need the 301 redirects or not. For instance, if you change your mind and want to remove the 301 redirects, your old rank would not be available with the URL. Even swapping the redirects is not helpful since the old page would not get back to its previous ranking position. In this way, there can be no way to undo the 301 redirects.
302 Found (HTTP 1.1) / Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.0)
While some may suggest that 301s and 302s can be treated similarly, there is evidence to prove that there are still some differences in both of the redirects depending upon the safety of both ways. Search engines and browsers are able to redirect the ranking powers more effective when using the 301 permanent redirecting processes. The internet runs on the protocol of the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that dictates how URLs work. There are two major versions of HTTP, known as 1.0 and 1.1. In the 1.0 version of the HTTP, the status code of 302 is referred to as "Moved Temporarily." On the other hand, in 1.1. the version of the HTTP, the status code is known as "Found."
307 Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1 Only)
There is another type of redirect known as the 307 redirects. The 307 redirect succeeds the HTTP 1.1 and the 302 redirects. It appears that the crawlers usually prefer 302 in some cases, but it is still much more efficient to use 301 redirects in the majority of the cases. In this case, the content is moved only for temporary purposes, and it can be useful in cases such as maintenance. However, it is quite impossible to know if the search engines recognize the page as compatible or not. Therefore, it is better to use the 302 redirects for the content when it is temporarily moved.
Meta refreshers are the type of redirects that are found on the level of the page instead of the server level. One drawback of the meta-refresh is that they are usually slower. This is why they are not recommended to be incorporated into SEO strategies. You can quickly identify meta refresh with a five-second countdown with the content that states in most cases, "If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here." Meta refreshes are known for passing the link equity, but they are still not useful as SEO tactics, pertaining to decreased usability and low transfer of link equity.
Redirect Bad Practices
There are certain practices involved in the redirecting process.
Redirecting All of The 404 Broken URLs to the Main Or Home Page
It is possible that all the 404 Broken URLs to the main page. This usually occurs when the focus is not paid to the 404 URLs and is mapped on the appropriate landing page. In this regard, it is often suggested by Google and other search engines to focus on these 404 URLs as well.
One way to deal with these URLs is to optimize them, so the users can find them interesting, engage with them, and browser further or find anything that they might be looking for.
It is also recommended by the search engines that the redirected page content should not be irrelevant when compared to the old page. Or the redirected pages will be considered soft 404, and you will eventually fail to get the rank of the page.
Specific Redirecting to the Incorrect Mobile Page
In case you have two different URLs for your mobile and desktop sites, it is essential to ensure that the users are redirected to the right page of the mobile version. For instance, if your desktop site is "mysite.com" and the mobile site is "m.mysite.com," then the correct redirecting would be "m.mysite.com/entertainment/" to "m.mysite.com/entertainment/" instead of "m.mysite.com/entertainment/" to "mysite.com/entertainment/."
Therefore, you should ensure that if your page is 404 on the desktop site, it should also be 404 on the mobile version of the page. In case you don't have a mobile version for a specific page, it is better to avoid redirecting to the mobile version of the website and keep the users on the desktop version of the page.
Usage of the Meta Refresh
It is possible to also redirect the pages with the help of meta refresh tags using example such: as
A lot of Redirects
When there are too many redirects, the browser tends to show the message that says, "this page isn't working." This occurs when there is a setup of a wrong regular expression, and it eventually results in an infinite loop. This also happens where there is a chain of redirect.
Some critical questions about redirects for SEO
- Are redirects good for SEO?
When people ask SEO Companies if redirects are suitable for the SEO or not, this usually depends upon the cases. Redirects are generally not bad for the SEO strategies, but it also matters that they are placed at appropriate places. Redirects are essential because bad implementation can create a loss of traffic, as well as PageRank. The process of redirecting is also vital if you are making any changes to the URLs. After all, it is also crucial that the hard work you have done for getting a particular rank on the search engine and the audience you have collected are not lost.
- What is there a need to redirect a URL?
By redirecting a URL that has been changed, both the crawlers and users can be sent to the new URL. In this way, it can increase the convenience of the users, as well as the crawlers. URLs are also incredibly important to be redirected if you are changing the structure of the URL, deleting a specific post, moving the website to another domain, or deleting a specific page. While doing so, all the visitors can be redirected to appropriate places from those dreaded 404 pages.
- What is an appropriate and efficient way to manage redirects in WordPress?
Although there is no specific need, it is still helpful to redirect the manager in the WordPress plugin. Many people struggle with the notion of redirects and the work required to add and manage them. This is why it is worth getting WordPress SEO plugins and using them as redirect tools.
- Is there any need to redirect HTTP to HTTPS?
It is worth redirecting the HTTP traffic to HTTPS if you plan to move towards the preferred HTTPS protocol to the website. It is important to remember that the site can get in trouble from the search engines if the website is present on both HTTPS and HTTP.
In The End
Redirecting is also a necessary process to conduct if you want to change the structure of your website, delete something, or simply make some changes to your website Talk with us SEO Malaysia. It is also useful when it is about SEO strategy. However, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to redirecting, which you should be aware of.