What is a Redirect?

A redirect is the HTTP status code assigned to the current/old page that informs Google to view the newer one instead. But essentially, you add a link to the web server to indicate the current URL that will replace the old one, and search engines will then view the newer page on the visitor’s tab instead of the old one. 

Essentially, it immediately leads users to another website without ever acknowledging them; yeah, it shouldn’t be obvious, so we’ll talk about it later. To sum up: the same website takes all users and search engines to a separate URL than one person, either typed in on their browser or pulled from the Google results.

Types of Redirects

There are several different redirect solutions, let’s look at the most popular SEO redirects and explain their characteristics.

301 Redirect

You’re going to want to do this one because the page you’re redirecting to is the actual edition you want to show on the search engines. Summing up, 301 redirects are irreversible and will be taken into account by Google and other search engines.

302 Redirect

Now that we know how the 301 redirect operates, it’s hard to imagine that there are other styles because they make a lot of sense. But there are several sites that need temporary URLs, such as: Special deals that will end soon.

If a webmaster needs a tidy URL to be posted on the home page, but the actual version is long (and ugly), even though it has a lot of authority. The alternative is to add a 302 redirect to display a pleasant URL that people would feel like sharing, but still index the older – and more efficient – one. 

If you need to host a website somewhere else for a bit, remembering that the final position will be the original one. 

Under these situations, we’re going to want users to be routed momentarily with a 302 link, but we want search engines to keep track of the original address.

Other Types of Redirects

A 307 redirect is another form of temporary redirect, but it’s not applicable to your SEO approach, nor is Meta Refresh. So consider sticking to the 301 or 302 redirects.

How to 301 Redirect?

In Search Engine Optimization, every big step begins with a thorough review. Here is a list of the elements that you need to hold in mind before redirecting a page:

Look for incoming links to the page, both internal (from the same website) and external (from the same website) (from other websites). You want to point the internal ones to the newest page and refresh the external incoming links to retain the site authority. 

You’ll want to search the outlinks (links on the website that point to your own site) and the outbound links (the ones you send to other websites). Note that some of the pages depend on the connection juice that this page sends to them 

Check the canonicals You don’t want to point to a list that’s being diverted to. Read this HTML tag on sites that have a canonical tag leading to this page. 

When all this review has been completed and the connections and canonicals have been rearranged, you will start applying the 301. Don’t make any changes until you’re sure to submit the same juice connection to the newer page.

Run a crawl to verify if all of the components have been properly applied. 

Reset the XML Sitemaps and upload the latest collection to the Google Search Console.

How Do I Redirect a Website?

In addition to following the previous guide, do not fail to use the following tips to redirect the website: 

Do not switch to a different domain until setting all 301 redirects. You don’t want Google to crawl a website without links and redundant content, don’t you? 

Set 301 redirects to http://www and http://www variants of your domain. Even this may be overlooked, so it’s a must in SEO. 

Stop redirecting the chains, (we’ll talk about them later). 

You may also use Google Search Console to inform Google that the entire domain has now moved to another domain. 

Note that this is a brand-new Google website, so it’s going to take some time to score as big as the old one. That’s why it’s so important to schedule your SEO strategy for effective website migration.

Are Redirects Bad for SEO?

Redirects are not the best solution code that Google will show while searching the web, but they are required in many situations. So, redirects aren’t bad for SEO unless you’re using them the right way (there’s always a “unless”). 

The 301 redirect increases the loading time of the website. That’s not normally seen by consumers, but it’s taken into account by Google, since it takes an extra step for the spider to crawl the newer tab, and it can add a couple milliseconds to the loading pace.

Now, if you had a redirect to Page A and Page B, and wanted to build Page C by submitting a newer URL redirect to the top of the old one, it will be 2 redirects from Page A for the bot to obey. Is that negative, huh? Yes, yes. 

So, is there a cap on the amount of redirects on the website? Nope, but there is a limited number of redirects per page. Google advises that you should not reach 2 in a row. 5 or 6 would have been too many, and the spider would have stopped using the site. This so-called redirect chain means that with any additional tab, the user faces a wait and thus loses confidence, and so does the spider, meaning that the page loses the authority to redirect chains.

Matt Cutts explains this very clearly in a –fairly old- video which is still relevant to answer this question:

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We highly advocate redirecting ALWAYS to the new article. Irrespective of how much work this would cost you, it is the best way not to maximize the loading time to prevent lack of authority.
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