All About Website Redirects
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
When someone visits a website, they expect to be sent to the correct location. A redirect takes place when someone asks to visit a certain website but gets sent to a different page. Often, this happens when the webpage gets deleted and the owner of that page set up a redirect to send both visitors and search engines to a different page. When it comes to a redirect, there are a few key points to note as this pertains to SEO.
Redirects and SEO Some people think that a redirect is bad for SEO; however, this is not always the case. In order to make sure a redirect does not hurt SEO, it needs to be placed correctly. If the redirect is not used properly, then this can hurt page rankings and reduce important traffic. If there are any changes to the URL, then a redirect is important for making sure the audience ultimately ends up in the right place. When Redirects Are Important A redirect is important for sending both users and search crawlers to a new URL. If the original URL, then the redirect is necessary to keep any annoyances to a minimum. When there is any type of site maintenance going on, or if a post has been deleted, then a redirect has to take place or a 404 error will appear, which is bad for traffic and harms the user experience. If there are small changes, such as an outdated article being deleted, then a 301 can redirect the old URL to a relevant new article. Or, a 410 can appear saying that it was deleted. If something is going to be deleted, then there has to be a plan in place. Often, this plan will involve a redirect.
URL Mitigation Strategies If there are bigger changes taking place, then a URL mitigation strategy is needed. For example, if the site is moving to HTTPS, changing the URL paths, or moving the site to a new domain, then a URL mitigation plan is required to minimize the disruption that might occur to both users and search crawlers.
301 and 302 Redirects A 301 redirect is put in place to permanently redirect an old URL to a new destination. In this manner, both visitors and search engines will realize that the URL has been changed and a new destination has been found.
If the old URL has permanently been deleted, then a 301 redirect is necessary. If the redirect is temporary, then a 302 redirect is used instead.
Managing Redirects in WordPress For those who are looking for a way to handle redirects in WordPress, one of the top ways to do this is with the Yoast SEO Premium WordPress plugin. There are a lot of people who simply aren’t able to keep all of the redirects straight and that is fine.
There is a lot to do on a daily basis. That is why this redirect tool is in place. It can help people handle redirects automatically. Having a tool that can handle redirects automatically is important for keeping a site fresh, happy, and healthy.
What Happens When a Post is Deleted? If someone decides to delete a post, then this is where the Yoast plugin will kick in. The following will take place:
A message will appear saying the post has been moved to the trash
The redirect manager will provide two options
The first option is to redirect this site to another URL
The other is to serve a 410 content deleted header
The user selects one option and enters a new URL if required
Then, this is saved
This is a very straightforward process that will help everyone keep their redirects straight.
Redirecting for HTTP and HTTPS If there is a move to a new address, such as a migration to HTTPS (which is much more secure) then the traffic has to be redirected. If there is no redirect in place, then Google could penalize the site. Also, if the browser is not secured by HTTPS, then visitors might not like this.
In addition, Google prefers HTTPS sites as well. Remember that the job of search engines is to pull up the results that are most relevant to the needs of the user. Because HTTPS sites are faster and more secure, these sites are going to rank higher.
In this manner, planning a migration to HTTPS is important for SEO purposes. In order to redirect traffic from HTTP to HTTPS, it is important to set up a 301 redirect. First, the preferred way of handling this redirect is to take care of it a the server level.
Figure out which server is being used to run the webpage. Then, figure out which type of code is required to add the additional file required to complete the migration. Often, the host has a guide that will help people complete the HTTP to HTTP redirect on the server level. Our trained professionals would be happy to help you with this! Use Redirects for SEO Purposes These are just a few of the most important points that everyone has to keep in mind when it comes to redirects and SEO. While getting started with redirects is not hard, managing them can be a bit of a challenge.
The good news is that there are trained professionals who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Contact me today to learn more about my services!