How to redirect URL: The Complete Guide

Safalta Expert Published by: Vanshika Jakhar Updated Wed, 30 Nov 2022 10:50 PM IST

Users and search engine crawlers can be forwarded from one URL to another using a redirect. Severe SEO problems can result from any redirection errors or from failing to implement redirects even though they are required. Google might not link the new page to the original one's ranking signals, which could cause rankings to drop and, as a result, traffic to decrease.
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Table of Content
What are redirects?
Redirects: Why Are They Important?
When to Use Redirects
Types of Redirects
How to Put Redirects in Place
5 Best Practices for Redirects
 

What are redirects?

Users are redirected from one URL to another.

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Source: Safalta

The URL that the user clicked, typed, or otherwise requested is the first URL. The new destination URL is the second. The way redirections function for search engines is essentially the same. Search engines are directed from one URL to another by them.
 

Redirects: Why Are They Important?

They improve the overall user experience by preventing visitors from arriving on broken or duplicate pages, increasing authority when backlinks point to a page that has been moved, and increasing traffic when the old URL no longer exists.
 

When to Use Redirects

  • When you change a webpage's URL.
  • You take down a page.
  • You can modify URLs by adding category tags or parent pages.
  • You change the domain of your website.
  • Two or more duplicate web pages are combined.
  • A redirect can be used on a single URL.

Depending on the circumstances, you might need to use a different kind of redirect.

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Types of Redirects

Permanent and temporary redirects fall into the two main categories. Users will be unable to differentiate between the two. However, they are crucial for search engines. Use permanent redirects if you don't want the old page to be displayed again. similar to deleting a page. or if duplicate pages are combined. They instruct search engines to stop displaying the previous URL in search results and to begin showing the new one instead.
Then there are brief redirects. They are used when you only need to temporarily redirect a page. Google typically keeps the old URL in its index for a longer period with a temporary redirect than it would with a permanent one.
 

How to Put Redirects in Place

There are three primary methods for configuring HTTP redirects:

  • utilizing plugins
  • utilizing your CMS (content management system)
  • using a.htaccess file

 

5 Best Practices for Redirects

After discussing how to redirect pages, let's discuss some of the most crucial best practices to adhere to.
 

1. Whenever you set up a redirect, make sure the content of the new page is a close match to the content of the old page. For instance, it makes much more sense to reroute a specials page that has expired to your main specials page rather than your homepage. Search engines might not pass on the authority of the old page if you redirect an old URL to a URL that isn't relevant. A soft 404 may result from this. A soft 404 isn't a status code in the strictest sense. It serves more as a label that Google uses to interpret the page.
 

2. Prevent Chains & Loops of Redirects

When there are multiple URL redirects between the starting URL and the ending URL, this is known as a "redirect chain." Say a page was previously accessible at www.yoursite.com/about-the-company/ (URL A) but has since been redirected to www.yoursite.com/about-us/ (URL B). A chain of redirects would be started if you later pointed the more recent URL to www.yoursite.com/about/ (URL C). Considering that the first URL now points to the second URL, The third URL is redirected from the second URL.
 

3. Steer clear of links to pages that redirect

Let's say you reroute a previous page to a new one. There may be links to your old page on other pages of your website. In that case, visitors will be directed to your old link. and directed to the new URL after that. Users won't likely pay attention to this. But if you forget to keep up with it, that extra redirect can eventually contribute to a chain of redirects.
 

4. Avoid Duplicate Content by Redirecting

A site may be present on more than one subdomain. For instance, both http://example.com and https://example.com lead to the same domain. They are viewed separately by search engines. If you're not careful, this could lead to issues with duplicate content.
 

5. Recover Lost Link Authority by Fixing 404s

Google disregards backlinks that lead to 404 error pages. This is problematic because backlinks play a crucial role in ranking. In other words, Google isn't giving you any points for those backlinks that lead to 404 error pages.

Redirects are a way to keep the traffic, conversions, and ranking signals from pages where content has been altered or removed. Maintaining your search performance depends on adhering to the aforementioned recommendations, so take extra care to do so.

Are redirects capable of passing page authority?

Yes, you can transfer authority from the old page to the new page using 301 redirects if the content on the two pages closely matches. But keep in mind that redirects might not always pass all of the authority from the original page.

Redirects: Are they bad for SEO?

Simply put, no. But the situation is a little more nuanced than that. The ideal situation is to never require redirects. Your pages won't lose any authority in this way.

How long should redirects remain active?

Gary Illyes from Google advises that permanent redirects be left in place for at least a year.

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