Redirects Fundamentals

Redirects Fundamentals

What Is A Redirect?

Redirect means transferring a visitor from one URL to another URL. It technically involves sending traffic (including search engine crawlers) away from the URL they originally requested and relocating them to a different URL.

Types Of Redirects

The most commonly used redirects are of three kinds:
  • 301 redirect: permanent redirect
  • 302 redirect/302 Found (HTTP 1.1)
  • 307 redirect: Moved temporarily
  • Meta refresh

301 Redirect: Permanent Redirect

Also known as permanent redirect, 301 redirect is an HTTP status code which passes 90-99% of link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. This, under most circumstances, is the best way of redirecting traffic.

302 Redirect/ 302 Found (HTTP 1.1)

HTTP 302 is a common way of performing URL redirection. The response code status under 302 redirect (HTTP1.0) indicates that the web address has been moved temporarily to a different URL. This redirect has now changed its version. While HTTP 1.0 status code indicates "Moved Temporarily", the changed version 1.1 shows “Found”.

307 Redirect: Moved Temporarily (HTTP 1.1)

307 redirect is closely related to 302 redirect, only it succeeds 302 redirect to HTTP 1.1. The search engines recognize 307 redirect when the content of the website content of the website is moved temporarily to a different URL location (such as during maintenance of the website).

Meta Refresh

Meta refresh redirect is generally executed on the page rather than server level. This is the reason why they are comparatively slower redirects, not compatible for SEO. This redirect normally show an “click here to reload if the page takes time” message where the command is given that and lose some link equity under this process. They are not recommended for SEO due to considerable loss of equity and high page loading speed.

SEO Best Practices

URL redirection is extremely common among websites. This is done for various reasons which include:
When you use a redirect, try to make sure that you perform SEO as well. There are many ways for doing this, as when you use a 301 redirect, it indicates to users as well as browsers that the content of a web page has been moved from its location permanently. So when you use 301 redirect, the search engine crawler will take considerable amount of time scanning it and crediting the page its due credit ranking on the basis of the transferred link equity. However, this process can be shortened if you constantly invite web crawlers to crawl your web page.
In this case, 302 and meta refresh redirects are poor substitutes for 301 redirect and can only be used in place of 301 redirect if the user does not wish to save link equity. 301 redirect also requires constant spidering and crawling to prevent spammers and suspicious users from misuse available information.

301 Redirect In Apache

Some web hosting sites, such as Wix and so engine hosts websites on their own domain. So, when a website might want to move out to its own server, they might have to redirect the visitor to the original site. For this purpose, many folders and subfolders have to be changed and 301 redirect has to be used. A simple solution is adding 301 redirect to the PHP code that supplemented the hosting domain.

Redirecting Hostnames

People usually commit canonicalization errors while visiting a site such as missing http or www in the URL. Even after these mistakes, if they write the domain name correctly, they should be redirected to the correct web address. This can be done by adding:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} *!^www*.[domain name] [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [web address]/$1 [L,R=301]
This directive instructs the Apache to redirect the entrant to the correct web address.

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