SEO Redirects: Everything you need to know

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Nov 28, 2022  . 11 min read
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Have you ever reached an error page after clicking on a website link? This affects user experience when it appears on a website. If you don’t want your user to have a negative image of your website, it is essential to ensure that your website does not show such an error.

Such an error reduces website credibility and can cause severe SEO issues. Google might not link the new page to the original one's ranking signals, causing a drop in rankings and a loss of visitors.

A key component of your SEO strategy should be evaluating every website redirect. This article will help you understand how to use redirects to your website's advantage & learn how to redirect a URL to another URL.

What are redirects?

A redirect is a method for guiding a user away from a URL that is temporarily or permanently unavailable to another relevant URL.

A positive user experience is a primary goal of using redirects. An individual is automatically transferred to another resource on the subject, allowing them to go on with their research rather than arriving on a page that is no longer active.

Users are less likely to revisit your website if there are error pages. A website error leads to an increase in bounce rates and negatively impacts your website's credibility.

Using Redirects

To understand how redirects work, you first need to apprehend the uses of redirects. First and foremost, redirects significantly benefit users and search engines when content is shifted or becomes inaccessible.

Redirects aid in delivering a positive user experience to visitors. A web admin can create a redirect link to ensure visitors always arrive at the information they want rather than having them land on an error page and independently discover other relevant content.

Redirects relieve search engine crawlers of the burden of analysing and interpreting broken internal links and URLs. Instead, the engine may conserve crawl money by seeing live content and correctly indexing it.

Redirects are necessary when:

  • You change a web page's URL (from URL A to URL B), redirects are necessary.
  • You shift from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Your website is transferred to a new domain
  • Two or more web pages are combined
  • A page that is visited or has backlinks leading to it is deleted
  • Your website undergoes development, and the structure is altered
  • You want to avoid duplicate content on non-www or trailing-slash URLs

Redirects and Their Different Types

Various types of redirects are essential to differentiate before learning how to redirect one URL to another URL. They are primarily of two kinds, server-side and client-side redirects. They are stated below:

Server-side functions at the server level

  • 301, "Moved Permanently."
  • 302, "Found" or "Moved Temporarily."
  • 303 Redirects

301, "Moved Permanently"—recommended for SEO

A 301 redirect shows that the content of the original URL has been transferred permanently to the new URL. Use this form of redirect when you need to send people and search engines to a new page address, and you know the original URL won't be returning. These redirects are among the simple fundamentals of SEO and by far the most popular ones.

302, "Found" or "Moved Temporarily."

Using a 302 redirect, a user is forwarded from page A to page B and informed that the original URL would soon be restored. In the past, 302 redirects were known to cause SEO problems since they did not pass PageRank. With a 302 redirect, it is more challenging to move ranking signals to a new URL than with a 301 redirect. The most crucial guideline for using 302s is maintaining them for a short time and deleting the redirect as soon as the original URL becomes accessible.

303 Redirects

Although 303 redirects are rarely discussed in relation to SEO, 303 redirects can use them to signal that the redirects point to another page rather than the freshly uploaded content (such as a confirmation page or an upload progress page).

A group of redirects is executed on the client side in response to a browser request for a file.

  • JavaScript Redirects
  • Meta Refresh Redirects

JavaScript Redirects

The two most typical use cases for JavaScript redirects are those based on user interaction or device targeting when the redirect identifies a particular machine and redirects a visitor to a page designed for it. Redirects created with JavaScript are typically not search-engine friendly. Crawling and rendering JavaScript by Google is rather complex.

Meta Refresh Redirects

It is also possible to redirect one page to another on the client-side, in contrast to HTML redirects, which are handled on the server-side (in the browser). This kind of redirect is frequently used with a countdown that alerts users that they will be redirected in a certain amount of time. According to Google, these redirects are handled the same way as any other. However, they still have problems. After all, they provide a terrible user experience because they take so long to complete, and the original page is retained in the browser's history.

Typical SEO Errors When Using Redirects

You are familiar with redirects, how they operate, and when and how best to use them. So, let us look at Common SEO Mistakes When Implementing Redirects.

1. Everything is redirecting to Your Homepage

You can do more harm than good if you redirect every page to your homepage to rank for competitive terms. According to John Mueller from Google, search crawlers will raise an alert if several pages are redirected to your homepage. Google won't pick up all those helpful signals you accumulated on the previous URLs as the content's value is diminished.

2. Never-Ending Redirect Loops

A redirect loop is easily avoided by testing each new redirect. In case of a redirect loop, the redirect will continue to take the user back to page 1 and will most likely be stopped by your browser, which detects the loop. Because the crawler has no idea what's happening, you'll almost certainly have the pages deindexed. If these pages generate a lot of traffic to your site, you'll make a significant loss.

3. Redirecting to a Non-Relevant URL

The subject relevancy of a redirect is crucial for SEO purposes. Always redirect traffic to the closest, most relevant alternative to the original page. If Google does not grasp the connection between the two pages, it may not pass the link authority between the two, decreasing the redirect's positive SEO impact.

4. Configuring Redirect Chains

This is a common occurrence. You develop a newer version of a page and drive traffic to the old one. But then you make another version, configure another redirection, and so on. What was once a single redirect becomes a chain of three, four, or more redirects over time. It has little impact on your consumers. However, it severely impacts your SEO. The search engine's crawler may stop following the chain after two redirects, never reaching the most recent page.

5. Increasing Redirect delay

Another disadvantage of having too many redirects is an increased delay, which can negatively impact user experience. Each redirect represents a server request that must be handled. This could result in a longer page load time for a user on slower connections. Similarly, many redirections may result in the "too many redirects error," preventing the user from getting to the end of the route.

6. Using the incorrect type of redirect

A redirect is an excellent method for moving traffic from an old URL to a new one. There are also numerous types of redirects to choose from. It's crucial to pick the right one, especially if you want to maximise your SEO value. By resolving website difficulties, your company will avoid dealing with first-call resolution. For instance, A 302 redirect does not have the same authority as a 301 redirect; using it instead of a 301 can result in decreased visibility, authority, and traffic.

Recommendations for SEO Redirects

It is essential to understand the relationship between SEO and redirects. Knowing how to redirect a URL to another URL is necessary to optimise your SEO strategy and up your game. You can follow the understated recommendation for SEO redirects:

Redirect to an Appropriate Alternate URL.

Always redirect to the most appropriate alternative to the original URL to maintain topic relevance. When someone clicks a link to a page offering fragrances, they want to go through the products, they would not want (or expect) to be led to a page selling "books." For example, if the business no longer offers fragrances, it would be okay to refer to a bath and body category.

Redirect Chains and Loops should be avoided.

In the most basic sense, a redirect chain occurs when more than one redirect exists between the original and final URL, frequently due to website migrations. These are irrelevant and should be avoided. Assume you wish to redirect from A to C, but C also redirects to A. This should be avoided since the redirect is faulty and will not send users or search engines to the target.

Internal Redirects Should Be Avoided

When you change the URL of a page, it's easy to forget to go back and update internal links to go to the new address, especially if redirects have been set up. These redirects are pointless, considering that you have complete control over repointing internal links. Use redirects to avoid duplicate URLs between www and non-www, HTTP and HTTPS protocols, URLs with and without a trailing slash (/) and URLs in upper and lower case.

It’s a common question “are redirects bad for seo?” or “does redirects hurt SEO?”

Redirects are not harmful to SEO but must be implemented appropriately. A poor implementation might result in everything from a loss of PageRank to a loss of visitors. Not redirecting your page will eventually cause a bad user experience and impact your page rankings. Thus, redirects are good for SEO at times.

You can follow these recommendations for redirection and enhance your SEO strategy in your favour.

Steps to redirect a domain to another URL

Most web admins have several options for setting up a redirect. Here are the steps for three basic options. Follow these steps to learn how to redirect a domain to another URL.

Create a Redirect in cPanel.

Scroll down to the Domains area after logging into your cPanel account. Locate and click the Redirects icon.

  • How to set up redirects in cPanel- Permanent (301) or Temporary (302) are the options in the Type dropdown menu (302). Make your choice.
  • Create a redirect in cPanel - Choose the domain you want to redirect in the following dropdown menu. If you want the change to apply to all your domains, select All Public Domains; otherwise, select the relevant one from the menu.
  • Enter the page you want to redirect to and the page you want it to go to. Because the root domain name is already provided in the dropdown menu, you will enter the last part of the URL in the first box. However, in the second field, give the whole URL to where you want it to redirect.
  • In cPanel, install a permanent redirect.

Create a WordPress Redirect

Using a plugin is the simplest approach to setting up a redirect in WordPress. Redirection is a frequent solution for this.

  • If this is your first time adding plugins to WordPress, go to the Plugins menu on the left side of the screen. Click Add New, and then search for the plugin you want.
  • WordPress redirection plugins- click Install Now, followed by Activate. Each plugin will come with its own set of instructions about utilizing it. Find Redirection in your Installed Plugins list, click Settings, and then follow the setup steps.
  • Once configured, Redirection will be available under Tools. Then, in the top-right menu, select Redirects and enter the information for the URL you want to redirect and the new URL you want it to refer to. WordPress redirections plugin. Then click the Add Redirect button.

Wrapping Up

Although redirects are a crucial component of SEO, their utility extends far beyond this. Every time a web page's location changes, redirects must be used. If you don't, consumers and search engines won't be directed to the new one, which can negatively impact SEO and drive away business. We hope this article clears all doubts on how to redirect a URL to another URL and use it to favor your SEO strategy.