Technical SEO is an essential part of improving your website’s performance. And one of the most vital parts of technical SEO is redirection, the process of forwarding users from one URL to another.
What Is a Redirect?
A redirect is a coding technique that makes browsers send users to a different URL if the one they initially clicked, typed into the browser, or requested in other ways has moved or is undergoing some work.
Specifically, redirects are used in the following situations:
- Page Maintenance – when you are working on a page but want relevant information to be available to users.
- Page Deletion – when you remove a page from your website, and you want to send users to a different page that offers similar information that was on the deleted page.
- Page Mergers – when you combine the contents of two or more pages on your website, there’s no use in keeping the original URLs of each page, so you want to send your users to the new page’s URL.
- Domain Name Change – when you launch a new website under a completely new domain name and want to preserve all the inbound links you got from your old URL.
When a redirect happens, the server tells the user that their URL request has been redirected. These redirects can happen in different ways:
- 301 Moved Permanently
A 301 redirect is a type of HTTP status code used for URLs that have been changed to another location. It suggests that future requests for that URL should be made with the new one instead.
- 302 Found and Moved Temporarily
A 302 redirect is used for temporarily unavailable pages, such as those undergoing maintenance or being updated. Unlike the 301 redirect, using 302 suggests that future requests for the URL should be made with the original URL.
- Meta Refresh Redirects
Meta-refresh redirects are used to bring a client to a relevant page and then bring them back immediately to the original URL without confusing them. Users usually see this as pages that say “You will be redirected in X seconds.”
- Other Redirects
In most cases, you will only need to use a 301 or 302 redirect. But there are other types of redirects for specific situations, including a 303 redirect, a 307 redirect, and a 308 redirect.
How Redirects Impact Your Website’s SEO
Redirects have both positive and negative effects on SEO.
When used correctly, a redirect helps pass the original URL’s page ranking to the new one. As such, even if you change your domain name or the contents of your top-ranking service page get moved to a new URL, you get to keep the page’s link authority.
According to Google, a 301 redirect, for example, sends a strong signal to search engine crawlers about the permanent shift of your original URL. As such, Google will index your page using the new URL, preventing your page rank from falling on results pages.
On the other hand, redirects may take time to load, which can impact user experience when they’re trying to browse your website. Hence, it’s essential to use redirects only when absolutely necessary.
Keep Your Page Ranking High
Sievers Creative is a trusted SEO company that helps small to medium-sized businesses rank high on SERPs and turn those rankings into revenue. Our team ensures your page is optimized, from metadata to redirects, so that you can provide a smooth user experience. Contact us for a free consultation today.