Everything You Need To Know About Page Redirection In SEO

The main goal of implementing search engine optimization (SEO) into your marketing campaigns is to essentially get your online website to rank higher on search engines while providing audiences with relevant information and answers to their queries. When done incorrectly, page redirections in your SEO strategy can damage your website’s authority and lower PageRank; one’s of Google’s top-ranking factors.

Before all that… what even is page redirection?

Page redirections literally mean redirecting pages; web pages, to be specific. Any changes made to your URLs call for page redirection (also known as URL redirects). It is a way to redirect both audiences and crawlers (Googlebot) to a different URL than the one requested. This will bring your visitors to the new URL even though the old URL was typed in.

Why should you use redirection?

Page redirection helps keep your content accessible regardless of any changes done to your website URLs. Users searching for your site may entirely lose interest in your products/services if they happen to stumble upon a “404 error” or “page not found” message when clicking into your web pages.

prevent 404 error page

Prevent visitors from encountering an error 404 on your site

Essentially, page redirection can provide a better user experience for visitors, whether they’re new audiences or returning customers. Page redirection also helps search engine crawlers to understand that the current page is no longer available and thus, prevent any indexing done on that web page. In addition, if you have been performing link building for your website, not doing proper redirections would mean that your previous link juice is not passed onto a new page.

When should you use redirection?

Page redirection is necessary whenever the content is moved, temporarily or permanently. The possible scenarios include moving from one URL to another URL, merging multiple websites into one URL, deleting web pages, restructuring web sites, and switching from HTTP to HTTPS.

Moving domains

Whether your business is rebranding or you’re thinking of moving from one domain to another, you’ll need to permanently redirect all pages on the old domain to their appropriate destinations on the new domain.

When merging two or more websites

If you’re merging multiple websites into a single domain, you’ll need to redirect old URLs to the new URL permanently.

When switching from HTTP to HTTPS

If you haven’t already switched to HTTPS, it’s time to seriously consider it. Google prefers HTTPS sites due to their faster page speed and higher security. Your visitors will also appreciate the extra security. When switching, you’ll have to make changes on your web server to permanently redirect every unsecured (HTTP) page to its secure (HTTPS) location.

Temporary redirect

Let’s say certain products from your business are currently out of stock, or you’re currently running a seasonal promotion, you’ll need to use a temporary redirect so that visitors will be forwarded to the most relevant substitute. When your products are restocked, or promotion ends, all you need to do is remove the redirect. Easy as that!

When deleting pages with incoming traffic or has backlinks pointing to it

Page redirection can come in handy when removing content from your site. Implement a permanent redirect on the old URLs to a relevant, similar page where possible. This helps to ensure that you do not lose the current SEO impact of your quality backlinks.

The types of page redirections

Page redirections can be divided into two categories; Server-side redirects (3XX HTTP status code) and Client-side redirects (javascript redirect & meta refresh redirect).

Server-side redirects

301 redirect

A permanent redirect that forwards users to a new URL and signals the search engine that the URL has been moved permanently to a new URL.

302 redirect

302 redirects users to another URL temporarily and signals search engine that the address has been moved to another URL temporarily. Do keep in mind that search engine crawlers will still index the old URL.

303 redirect

The 303 redirect is also a form of temporary page redirection. It is commonly used to prevent form resubmissions when users click on the “back” button in their web browsers.

307 redirect

A temporary redirect that forwards the user to a resource similar to the one requested. 307 redirects are similar to 302 redirects; the only difference is that 307 redirects retain the original request’s HTTP method (POST, GET).

308 redirect

Works similarly with 301 redirects, except that the HTTP method of the original request is retained. 

Client-side redirects

Javascript redirects

Redirect users and search engines from one page to another using Javascript. 301 redirects are a better option, but you can use a JavaScript redirect to move your site if you are unable to access your website’s server.

Meta refresh redirects

A meta refresh redirect instructs the browser to redirect users after a certain number of seconds. Forward users from one page to another alongside a countdown which informs users that they will be redirected in a number of seconds. This type of redirect is not ideal, do avoid it if possible.

Need help with page redirections setup?

Getting started with page redirection can be a struggle as some changes are made on the web servers level. Additionally, poor implementation of page redirections may potentially cause your online site a loss in web traffic and lower PageRanks. Get in touch for a consultation with Primal’s team of digital marketing and SEO specialists today.