There are so many things to look into when it comes to SEO, with one of them being redirects. There are two forms, which are the 301 and 302 redirects, which actually have notable differences! Unfortunately, a lot of website owners are still confused as to which one should be used.
Redirects are actually ways to send search engine bots and users to a different URL if they visit the original URL and page requested. Why would you do this? There are various reasons why, such as:
•A broken URL
•You created a new page or website
•You’re still creating or fixing a webpage, directing users to go to a different one as you construct the one they requested to visit
The type of redirect you select would depend on the reason why you need it in the first place. It’s important to choose the one suitable for your website and purpose, so it won’t adversely impact your SEO. That way, you maintain your current ranking and also solidify your website and company reputation with backlinks and content.
So read on as I answer the question on a redirect for SEO: which type is crucial for your website?
About the 301 Redirect
301 redirects send messages to search engines that the webpage or site was permanently removed. Permanently means for at least a year. So, after one year, you’ll need to see if people are still being redirected to your website. Before canceling or killing the redirect, discover where the visitors or search bots come from. That way, you know what website to contact or which webpage of yours to edit, if they were led to the redirect from there.
When to Use the 301 Redirect
Website owners should use 301 redirects when purchasing domains for traffic they want sent to their primary domains. This includes brand misspellings or variations, or other domains that have a high domain authority score. Some people also use 301 redirects to establish which domain your default website really is, such as www.yoursite.com or yoursite.com.
Some users leave out the www. which is why a permanent redirect is useful for people visiting your website without using the www. Another reason to use a 301 redirect is if you combined two websites together or if your URLs are outdated.
About the 302 Redirect
On the other hand, a 302 redirect informs search engines that pages or websites were moved temporarily.
When to Use the 302 Redirect
You should use the 302 redirect to send users and search engine bots to a new website or page for only a specific duration of time, like when you’re still updating, constructing, or redesigning your website. A 302 redirect is used only when you plan on bringing that specific page back to life.
Besides that, it’s also best to use 302 redirects to test out new pages and receive consumer feedback. This helps in maintaining SEO rankings from your other webpage.
How Do These Redirects Impact Your SEO?
When you use a 301 redirect, Google will remove the old webpage or site from its index. Most of the value (the link equity) from the deleted page will transfer to your new URL that the bots were redirected to. But, take note that when you move one page URL to another, it takes quite some time for the bots to notice the change and for there to be an impact or change in the rankings.
As for using a 302 redirect, this won’t hurt your SEO rankings as long as you use it correctly. This is because the original page is still indexed by the search engine, without any value transferred to your new URL because they know it’s a temporary move. So all your pages will keep their rankings, authority, and the traffic value.
The only time issues may arise is if people use a 302 redirect for a site that permanently disappears. This is because the new webpage or site won’t have any of the value transferred from the old URL. That’s why you need to know the difference and when to use which redirect.
How to Implement Your Redirect
When implementing a 301 redirect for websites hosted by a certain company, you have to access the server’s .htaccess file. Depending on your host, you can either check tutorials or contact them for further information on how to do so.
However, if you use WordPress, they have plugins that can help make it easier to add redirects. Here are the helpful plugins to take advantage of:
•Redirection for 404 errors and 301 redirects
•Simple 301 Redirects is really only for 301 redirects
•SEO Redirection helps those who need either 301 and/or 302 redirects
A 404 error is a common error that may impact your SEO. It’s not a redirect, but an error code that means the page can’t be found. It happens when a page is deleted from a server or site, but page links remain. This might impact your SEO performance negatively.
That’s why you need to find all 404 errors and fix the URLs, adding the proper redirects to prevent this from happening again. Make sure that you have a regular report on this!
Wrapping It Up
Choosing a redirect is easy as long as you know the impact and what it’s used for. There is no “better” redirect and you should use whichever type is best for your goals and purpose. With the right indirect, you can maintain your SEO ranking and continue to focus on ways to achieve your website’s goals.
I hope that this article answered your questions on “redirects for SEO: which type is crucial for your website?” Now that you’re familiar with the redirects to choose, start working on it today, whether by yourself or with companies like Joel House to further improve your site.
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on using redirects, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.