There are many challenges facing SEO professionals today, one of which is search engine optimization (SEO) redirection. There has been an increase in SEO redirection over the last few years, and this has caused quite a stir within the SEO community. Many people are asking themselves: “Is redirect management good or bad for your site?” The answer is not as simple as it seems — you need to understand the history of SEO redirection first.
Redirects are the first line of defense in the war against duplicate content. They are what prevent Google from seeing two identical pages as two pages with different content. This, in turn, prevents duplicate content penalties for your website.
If you’re an SEO beginner, it can be difficult to understand exactly how redirects work. There are many moving parts, and understanding them all can be overwhelming. The goal of this guide is to make redirection simple enough that SEO beginners can understand it, and give SEO specialists a resource to reference when their clients ask about redirects.
Redirect management is an often-overlooked SEO tactic. In this post, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about redirects, including what they are, why you should use them, and how to set them up.
What are Redirects?
A redirect is a type of web page that automatically sends users to another URL without having to click on a link. You can use redirects to tell search engines where the new location of your content has been moved to.
Redirects are permanent HTTP codes that send visitors to another web page. When a user clicks on an external link and ends up on your website, the visitor will always be brought to the same page if you use redirects.
There are a few goals for a redirect management process:
- Redirects and the process should be easy to maintain and manage.
- Avoid redirect chains – single-hop as much as possible.
- Enable analytics tracking or other visibility into usage.
Common Use Cases For Redirects
Redirects are great for many reasons. You can redirect pages to other pages, or you can direct traffic to external sites. Redirects are useful in so many ways that it’s hard to keep track of them all.
Although there are other uses for redirects on websites, three of the most common that require management for large websites can be described as:
- Page moved.
- Vanity redirect.
- Utility redirect.
Managing “Page Moved” Redirects
If an established web page is moved from an old location to a new location, a redirect needs to be in place to help humans and bots find the new location when they attempt to access the old location.
301 Permanent Moved
If you plan on moving a web page permanently, add a redirection to the website. There are downloadable plug-in modules available for CMS applications like WordPress to help you manage this if it isn’t a built-in feature.
IMPORTANT: Only enter the paths — do not enter the domain. For example:
Old Path: /en/contact-us/
New Path: /eng/contact/
302 Temporarily Moved
If you want to move the page temporarily, perhaps because you are in the process of creating a replacement, this is the right option for you.
It is recommended that you insert the following information on a page, even if it is being redirected — just in case the redirection doesn’t work. If you are removing the information completely, see “Removed pages” [TODO] instead.
Also, change the page title to “Redirected — 201Y-MM-DD to http://www.yourwebsite.com/newpage/”. This will help in locating redirected pages for periodic removal.
Important: Please be sure to fill in the dates and update the New Address and Link before saving the text to a new page.
Managing Vanity Redirects
A vanity URL is a pretty cool thing to have. But how do you get one?
We’ll show you how with the help of Google’s URL Shortener tool. First, head to Google and type in “goo.gl/” in the search bar at the top of the page. Once you find the URL Shortener tool, click on “Create short URLs” and then click “enter your desired URL.” Next, enter your desired URL and click on “create short URL.”
The best way to manage vanity redirects is to make sure that you avoid them in the first place. But in the event that you are confronted with a vanity redirect, or if you have already created one, you need to take action. This article will cover how to undo a vanity redirect by reverting the URL change, as well as how to create new vanity URLs.
To revert the URL change:
Locate the old URL and edit it as soon as possible. This will keep your rankings for both URLs intact.
Managing Utility Redirects
Root access to a server is required to properly manage utility redirects. There are two ways to do this. The first is to use a remote desktop, the second is to use an SSH connection.
Companies are constantly coming up with creative ways to interact with customers. One way is to create a utility redirect that allows customers to find a utility site quickly.
Utility sites offer many different services, so it can be confusing for a user to find the right site. A company can create a redirect that directs users to the appropriate site depending on what type of content they are looking for.
A utility redirect is a page that facilitates quick, easy access to utility sites you have a relationship with, simplified and condensed into one page. Customers will be able to find the information they are seeking on the first page.
Analytics On Redirects
What is a redirect?
A redirect is when a web address directs someone from one URL to another. For example, if you type in www.google.com, your browser will be directed to www.google.com/index.html.
Some websites have been found to have malicious redirects that are used for phishing and other nefarious purposes. As a result, it’s important for organizations to monitor their own site for such activity.
There are a number of different analytics tools that can be used to monitor redirects on your website or network.
Redirects are a popular method for preserving search engine traffic when migrating sites to new domains. With analytics, you can use redirects to seamlessly track visits from your old domain name to your new domain name.
There are two methods that can be used to avoid the duplicate content penalty from search engine optimization. The first is to add the meta tag rel=” canonical” and href=”http://yourdomainname” to the pages on your new site that need to redirect visitors from your old site.
A redirect is a permanent or temporary change in the “address” of a website or an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Typically, this is achieved by using either an HTTP 301 Moved Permanently response or an HTTPS 301 Moved Permanently response.
This is also known as an “anti-pattern.”
As always, there are a few common approaches to addressing the problem.
Create a real-world application of the following anti-patterns, then provide a solution to address the anti-pattern.
1. User doesn’t know how to close the pop-up
2. User clicks on the wrong button within an app
1. A clear, intuitive pop-up that says “Would you like to close this?” and has a clear button to close it.
2. Make the buttons more distinguishable
The benefits of redirects are clear. However, it is important to consider the drawbacks as well before implementing a redirect campaign on your website. If you want to learn more about best practices for redirect management and SEO, comment on this article below! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.