Is It OK to Take away 301 Redirects After a Yr? We Examined It


In 2021, Google’s Gary Illyes mentioned on Twitter that redirect alerts consolidate completely to the brand new location after one 12 months.

Which means, in principle, alerts to the unique URL are completely handed to the brand new one after a 12 months. 

If the redirect is eliminated and the unique web page is restored, the unique web page has to construct brand-new alerts on its personal. 

Regardless that the previous hyperlinks nonetheless level to the unique web page, they depend for the web page that was the redirect goal for over a 12 months.

How 301s work


Word that one 12 months is measured from the time Google crawls it.

That is completely different from what SEOs imagine. Normally, it’s assumed that if the redirect is not in place that the alerts are misplaced. It’s additionally been understood that if the unique web page is restored that the alerts will construct again up for that web page. Have we been mistaken this complete time? Let’s discover out.

I eliminated redirects to those pages on January 30, 2023:

These posts had been chosen as a result of they’d older posts redirected to them. These older posts had been about the identical subjects and had sufficient hyperlinks and referring domains that I believed eradicating them would have a visual influence. 

You may see the clear drop in referring domains after I did this:

Graph showing drop in referring domains

What I don’t see is far drop in site visitors to those posts. One really has elevated site visitors, one is down, and two are comparatively flat.

Graph showing traffic changes of posts

The put up on key phrase search quantity is the one which was down. The drop that appears prefer it occurred about the identical time as when the redirects had been eliminated really occurred just a few days earlier than the removing. You may see that the drop already occurred on January 24, however I didn’t take away redirects till January 30. 

Graph showing a drop in traffic happened before the removal of redirects

The site visitors to the put up did decline through the take a look at, so I can’t rule out that eradicating the redirects damage this put up. 

I’m not keen to conclusively say that everlasting redirects move worth even after one 12 months, however what Gary mentioned appears to largely maintain true.

It’s not that I don’t imagine Gary, however that is radically completely different from how SEOs thought redirects consolidated. It appears loopy that alerts could possibly be consolidated to a distinct location than the place a hyperlink factors.

It’s actually not one thing I wish to take calmly. I’m already operating one other take a look at, have a bigger take a look at deliberate if that pans out, and can doubtless do a examine after that. Regardless that it’s not conclusive, it doubtless will maintain true, and that’s why I wish to share this now.

If the way in which we perceive redirect consolidation is mistaken, it has large implications for the search engine optimisation trade.

Redirect suggestions

One of many techniques that I at all times use with a brand new shopper is to redirect 404 pages which have hyperlinks pointing to them. I feel, in most of these instances, the pages had by no means been redirected.

If redirects are literally everlasting after one 12 months, I’ll must phase people who had been redirected longer than a 12 months from people who weren’t. There may nonetheless be worth available with this tactic, however with much less work wanted.

Area shopping for

It is a huge one. The worth of a site can change loads primarily based on the hyperlinks pointing to it.

Quite a lot of SEOs purchase domains that have already got hyperlinks from websites in the identical area of interest after they plan to launch a brand new web site or redirect it to their present web site. They hope that these previous hyperlinks will assist them rank higher.

Think about if that worth was not really there. If the area had been redirected for a 12 months or extra and the worth completely handed to a distinct area, then that area could be value loads much less.


There’s additionally a large influence on numerous instruments like Ahrefs if the redirects do completely move worth. We would wish to vary how we present hyperlinks and domains to those websites when redirects are concerned.

I’m certain we’d additionally get a whole lot of questions when the redirects had been eliminated, e.g., “Why do you continue to present these hyperlinks to this web page when the opposite web page not redirects?” It’s a bizarre idea, proper? But when that’s the way it works, that’s what we have to do.

Ultimate ideas

I haven’t seen any change within the search engine optimisation trade or the suggestions from SEOs since Gary’s tweet. I’m unsure if that’s as a result of few folks noticed it or adopted the fractured dialog, or we collectively don’t wish to imagine that redirects consolidate in a different way than what we suppose. 

I nonetheless don’t suppose many SEOs imagine me once I say momentary redirects consolidate backward to the unique URL, however they do.

As I mentioned, I’m not keen to name this one simply but. On the very least, much more checks should be run earlier than I’m keen to conclude that everlasting redirects do completely move alerts.

When you have any questions, message me on Twitter.