A redirect is a way for visitors to transfer them from one URL to another. It is beneficial in numerous ways. For instance, 301 redirection can fix 404 errors. Moreover, it avoids possible errors in the near future. It is significant to redirect your visitors to a safe website when the URL changes.
Therefore, we have brought this ultimate guide to the table for our customers. It will help you better understand redirection. Moreover, we will show how you can implement 301 redirection. Besides this, this guide covers more areas of redirection as well.
So, let us get into the details.
To begin with, it is essential to know:
What is Redirection?
To put it simply, redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to the other. It is a method to send various URLs from an original source to users as well as search engines. Let us suppose a scenario.
You can imagine redirection as a digital way to forward a parcel. If you have to shift from the area, you would tell the post office to send your parcel to the new address before it arrives at the earlier one.
Similarly, you have to use a redirect so that your website’s server can take action accordingly. For instance, forward or redirect the request on the previous URL to the newer one. The URL from where you redirect is called the redirect source. On the other hand, the URL where you land is called a redirect destination.
Once you have implemented the redirection, it is difficult to land your visitors on older websites. Instead, whenever someone clicks on the websites, they will reach out to the newer ones. In other words, the visitors cannot visit the redirect source.
You can notice that when the server of the website executes the redirection, a response code is sent to the browsers. As a result, the browser can identify the type of redirection.
The most known redirection is the status code “301″, it is a permanent redirection. However, if the redirection is temporary you should use the response code 302.
Now moving on let us see:
Uses of Redirection
Redirection is highly beneficial. Let us show some of its uses:
1. Fixes the 404 Errors
It is common to find “not found” types of errors on your website. It can be due to several reasons. For instance, people can mistype the URL, or maybe you have changed the URL and forgotten to redirect. Moreover, it could be due to the removal of web pages from your website.
So to fix these types of errors and avoid them in the future, you need to add a redirect link to the active site. As a result, your visitor will visit the active site without finding any errors.
2. Avoid 404 Errors
Sometimes, you have to change the URLs of a specific web page for different purposes. For instance, services, regular maintenance, services, or consolidation of web pages. Meanwhile, if anyone tries to access the page, he will find an error. Hence, it could affect your reputation. Therefore, it is mandatory to redirect them to a new URL. Moreover, in this way you can avoid 404 errors.
Types of Redirects
Redirects are of various types. You can choose one according to your requirements. Let us discuss each type:
1. 301 Redirection- Moved Permanently
301 error is a permanent redirect. In other words, it passes the visitors to the new URLs with complete link equity or ranking potential. Moreover, 301 redirection is the HTTP code indicating a permanent type of redirection. It is considered the most useful way of implementing redirects on your website.
2. 302 Redirection Found
If your website’s URL has changed temporarily, you can use the 302 redirects. According to research, both 302 and 301 redirection is treated similarly. If we notice, 301 redirection is the encrypted and safest method. Moreover, it will confirm the search engines, authorities, and browsers to allocate credits when using 301 to permanently redirect the URLs.
On the other hand, both 301, as well as 302 redirects, have the same link equity. However, there are examples where 301 is stronger than 302 in the canonicalization signal to google. While, if the redirect is actually temporary, the 302 is most adequate.
3. 307 Moved Temporarily
A 307 response code is the HTTP 1.1 descendant of 302 redirects. In most cases, the web crawlers treat them the same as 302 redirects. However, it is recommended to use 301 redirection for all-in-all purposes.
However, if you have moved your content temporarily for real, then it is an exceptional case. But, the servers need to be identified by search engines as compatible. Therefore, in this case, the 302 response code is better to employ.
4. Meta Refresh
Meta refresh is also a type of redirect. The difference is they are set at the page level instead of the server level. However, it is a slow and non-suggestive SEO technique. You might have seen them but didn’t notice. They have responses like “if you don’t redirect in 5 seconds then click here”.
Although they pass some link equity, still they are not preferred. Since it has less usability and loss of link equity.
How to Implement a Redirect?
Now moving on let us see how you can implement a redirect.
1. Server Side Redirection
You can incorporate a server-side redirect by various methods. However, in most cases, server-side redirection is executed through the .htaccess file or webconfig file. However, you can manage the redirects in a variety of programming languages. Moreover, while incorporating a server-side redirection, always use a 301 redirection response code. In this way, you indicate that this redirection is permanent.
It has numerous benefits. For instance, the Google index will refresh immediately. Moreover, search engines will find the pages easily. On the other hand, a 302 response code indicates this redirection is temporary. Moreover, it is by default and effortless to implement. However, this redirect may take time for Google to identify and index.
2. Browser Based Redirects
It is the best substitute for server-side redirection. It works at a local level to run in the customer’s browser. When your user is looking for the previous URL then the browser loads the web pages. After that, they locate the older URLs. Next, the browser applies code on the previous URL and redirects the visitors to the newer one.
3. WordPress Redirects
On WordPress, various plugins help you manage the redirect. You can install a suitable WordPress plugin for this purpose. Once the installation is complete, find the option of redirection in the menu. It must be under the “tools” section. After that, you can edit the existing redirects from the main page. However, you can also add fresh redirects.
How to Test Redirects?
It is significant to validate your redirects. For this purpose, most people use google search console or GSC. However, some other methods are also applicable.
Google Search Console will return the results and demonstrate what google knows about URLs. You will see a response “coverage” or “page with redirect” if the web crawlers have already seen the same thing before.
This indicates that the redirect is working correctly.
2 thoughts on “An Ultimate Guide How to Implement 301 Redirection”
This is a fantastic post.
I have a question. I have redirected multiple pages to new URLs, and I have updated all page link URLs to the new URLs, so there are no broken links on the front end.
My issue is, is it safe to erase any redirects that were created after a few months?
Thank you very much.
You might turn off the redirection if nobody ever refers to the dead links again, but otherwise it could be smart to retain them in place.