What It Is & How It Impacts website positioning

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What Is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is an HTTP standing code that redirects customers (and search engines like google and yahoo) from one web page to a different. It signifies {that a} web page has moved completely. And passes rating energy from the previous URL to the brand new one. 

For instance: 

We up to date a weblog put up and redirected it to a brand new URL. 

From https://www.semrush.com/weblog/wordpress-seo-checklist-20-tips/ to https://www.semrush.com/weblog/wordpress-seo/

(In case you click on on the previous URL, you’ll be robotically redirected to the brand new web page). 

We did so as a result of we needed the web page to observe URL greatest practices. 

However that’s removed from the one purpose to make use of a 301 redirect. 

When Ought to You Use a 301 Redirect?

There are various kinds of redirects (301, 302, meta refresh, and many others.). And every has its personal particular use case. 

Right here’s when (and why) you need to use a 301 redirect versus one other sort.

Completely Shifting a Web page to a New URL

For instance, from https://www.web site.com/old-page-name/ to https://www.web site.com/new-page-name/.

Generally, you must change the URL of a web page in your web site.

Possibly a product title has modified barely and you must replace the URL. Or need to higher categorize your web site’s pages. The explanations are infinite. 

Implementing a 301 redirect will be certain that customers and search engines like google and yahoo are redirected to the brand new URL. And assist search engines like google and yahoo cross the website positioning energy of the previous URL to the brand new URL. 

Deleting a Web page

If, for any purpose, you need to delete a web page in your web site, you need to redirect it to a different related web page if in any respect attainable. 

Why?

It creates a greater person expertise. And offers folks an alternate. 

For instance, when you merely delete the web page, customers who click on on a hyperlink to the web page in search or on one other webpage will land on a web page like this:

404 error on a page

With out an alternate, the person will possible bounce. 

Your greatest wager, most often, is to make use of a 301 redirect to ship the person to the same web page in your web site.

Migrating Your Website to a New Area

For instance, from https://www.web site.com to https://www.newwebsite.com.

You may additionally need to migrate your web site to a brand new area completely. 

Say you’re migrating from a .web to a .com. Or possibly you’ve rebranded and wish to maneuver to a special area title.

A 301 redirect is one of the best ways to try this. And notify Google utilizing Google Search Console’s Change of Tackle instrument.

Altering Your Website Construction

For instance, from https://www.web site.com/old-category/put up/ to https://www.web site.com/new-category/put up/.

If you wish to change your web site’s construction to make it simpler to prepare your content material and for Google to grasp how your pages are associated, go for 301 redirects. 

The identical applies to altering any subfolder construction in your web site. 

Whether or not that’s weblog classes, ecommerce classes, or different folders. A everlasting redirect is one of the best ways to implement the change. 

Shifting From Non-WWW to WWW URLs (or Resolving Duplication Points)

For instance, from https://www.web site.com to https://web site.com.

That you must be sure that the principle model of your web site is both non-www or www. 

Doing so will make your web site seem extra constant to customers and search engines like google and yahoo. And keep away from duplication points. 

The easiest way to make this clear is to make use of a 301 redirect to point which is the principle model. And redirect customers and search engines like google and yahoo to your most popular model. 

Switching From HTTP to HTTPS

For instance, from http://www.web site.com to https://www.web site.com. 

If you wish to swap from HTTP to HTTPS (as a result of it’s safer and one in every of Google’s rating indicators), use a 301 redirect. 

Doing so will guarantee Google correctly indexes the brand new protocol. And that customers are redirected to the proper pages. 

Merging Two (or Extra) Domains

For instance, from https://www.web site.de to https://www.web site.com/de/.

Generally, corporations might want to merge one area with one other. That is frequent after enterprise mergers and acquisitions. 

This course of requires exhaustive planning. However, for simplicity’s sake, if we’re speaking about merging, the best way to maintain as a lot website positioning energy as attainable is to merge utilizing a 301 redirect. 

Resolving ‘Trailing Slash’ Points

For instance, from https://www.web site.com/page-name to https://www.web site.com/page-name/.

Variants of a URL with and with no trailing slash are literally completely different pages. And Google will see them that approach. 

That you must be sure that your web site makes use of a constant strategy to dealing with trailing slashes on web page URLs. The right approach to do that is to 301 redirect one to the opposite. 

Resolving Higher-Case vs. Decrease-Case Points

For instance from https://www.web site.com/Web page-Identify/ to https://www.web site.com/page-name/.

Simply as with trailing slashes, upper- and lower-case URLs could be thought of completely different pages. 

Even one capitalized letter in a URL could make it completely different from its lower-case counterpart. And search engines like google and yahoo might even see it as a replica.

Utilizing 301 redirects is often one of the best ways to resolve these points.

Observe: Usually talking, it is smart to make use of lower-case to your URLs and to not combine upper-case and lower-case. 

The best way to Do a 301 Redirect

The best way you implement a 301 redirect is determined by your server and the content material administration system (CMS) you employ. 

Right here’s tips on how to do a 301 redirect throughout a number of the frequent setups.

301 Redirects on WordPress Websites

Implementing WordPress redirects is comparatively easy and simple, in comparison with different obtainable redirect strategies. In case you have a WordPress web site, think about using a plugin earlier than attempting any of the opposite redirect strategies on this checklist.

In case you’re utilizing the Yoast website positioning Premium plugin, you’ll discover a built-in redirects supervisor you should utilize to implement redirects. 

adding redirect with Yoast SEO Premium plugin

In case you’re utilizing the free model or one other plugin that does not supply redirects, you’ll want to put in a devoted redirects plugin. 

Redirection is among the many hottest redirect managers for WordPress. You possibly can add your redirects in minutes. 

Like so:

adding redirect with Redirection

In case you’re utilizing an alternate like Rank Math, you may discover a redirect supervisor included throughout the plugin.

adding redirect with Rank Math

301 Redirects on Shopify Shops

As with WordPress, implementing 301 redirects on a Shopify retailer is comparatively easy and simple.

To take action, head to Gross sales channels > On-line Retailer > Navigation

Shopify Store navigation

You’ll see a discreet “View URL redirects” hyperlink within the top-right nook. Go forward and click on it.

View URL redirects highlighted

Subsequent, click on “Create URL redirect.”

It’s then so simple as including your “from” and “to” URLs and saving the redirect. 

add and save redirect page

301 Redirects on BigCommerce

In case you’re working a retailer on BigCommerce, right here is tips on how to add 301 redirects:

Navigate to Settings › 301 Redirects.

And add a redirect, together with your previous URL.

add redirects on BigCommerce

Select a guide hyperlink, the place you enter the brand new URL to redirect to. 

Or dynamic hyperlink, the place you choose a web page or class, and the redirect will robotically replace when you change this web page later.

choose manual or dynamic url

Enter your new web page’s URL or select a web page to redirect to when you chosen the dynamic hyperlink choice above.

add new page's URL

301 Redirects on Magento Shops

In case your ecommerce retailer runs on Magento, the performance so as to add 301 redirects is constructed proper into the platform.

Right here is tips on how to create them:

Magento 1

In case you are working Magento 1, navigate to Catalog > URL Rewrite Administration

URL Rewrite Management

You’ll see any redirects which have beforehand been created.

Go forward and “Create URL Rewrite.”

And choose “Customized” rewrite.

Custom rewrite

Then, fill out the required URL rewrite data.

Like so:

fill out the required URL rewrite information

ID Path = The title of your rewrite that is used for admin functions solely.

Request Path = The unique / from URL

Goal Path = The brand new / goal URL

Redirect = Everlasting (301)

Description = Any description you need to add for the redirect

Magento 2

For Magento 2, first navigate to “URL Rewrites”:

Advertising and marketing > website positioning & Search > URL Rewrites

how to navigate to URL Rewrites

Go forward and “Add URL Rewrite” and fill out the required data.

Like this:

ill out the required URL rewrite information

Create URL Rewrite: Customized

Retailer = The shop you need to add the redirect for

Request Path = The unique / from URL

Goal Path = The brand new / goal URL

Redirect Kind = Everlasting (301)

Description = Any description you need to add for the redirect

301 Redirects on Apache Servers

Warning: This 301 redirect technique is just meant for consultants. Errors right here may cause massive issues to your web site. In case you’re not an professional, proceed with excessive warning or attain out to an professional who may also help.

In case your web site runs on an Apache server, you possibly can edit your web site’s .htaccess file to implement redirects.

So as to add a redirect to the file, add a line that tells the server what to do. You’ll add your new guidelines instantly beneath “RewriteEngine On,” which yow will discover within the mod_rewrite module in Apache.

When you’ve positioned the proper place so as to add a brand new rule, use the next examples to do the next:

Redirect a Single Web page

RRedirect 301 /oldpage/ https://www.instance.com/newpage/

Redirect an Whole Area to One other

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.instance.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Redirect an Whole Website to a Subfolder

Redirect 301 / https://www.web site.com/subfolder/

Redirect a Subfolder to a Totally different Area

Redirect 301 /subfolder https://www.newwebsite.com/

Redirect a Website Listing After a URL Change

Choices +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine On RewriteRule 
^(.*)/old-category/(.*)$ $1/new-category/$2 [R,L]

Redirect From Non-WWW to WWW

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www. [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

Redirect From HTTP to HTTPS

RewriteCond %{https} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.instance.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Redirect to Trailing-Slash URLs

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(.*)/$ 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.web site.com/$1/ [R=301,L]

301 Redirects on Nginx 

Warning: This 301 redirect technique is just meant for consultants. Errors right here may cause massive issues to your web site. In case you’re not an professional, proceed with excessive warning or attain out to an professional who may also help.

To create a everlasting 301 redirect on Nginx, you must add a line to your .conf file that’s usually discovered within the root of your server. 

A few of the frequent strains you would possibly want to make use of are as follows:

Redirect a Single Web page

server {
# Everlasting redirect to an particular person web page
rewrite ^/old-page$ http://www.web site.com/new-page everlasting;
}

Redirect an Whole Area to One other

server {
    pay attention 80;
    pay attention 443 ssl;
    server_name devisers.in www.devisers.in;
    return 301 $scheme://www.devisers.com$request_uri;
}

Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS

server {
pay attention 80;
server_name web site.com www.web site.com;
return 301 https://web site.com$request_uri;
}

Redirect From Non-WWW to WWW

server {
    pay attention 80;
    pay attention 443 ssl;
    server_name devisers.in;
    return 301 $scheme://www.devisers.in$request_uri;
}

301 Redirects on a Home windows Server 

Warning: This 301 redirect technique is just meant for consultants. Errors right here may cause massive issues to your web site. In case you’re not an professional, proceed with excessive warning or attain out to an professional who may also help.

In case your web site runs on a Home windows server in ASP.NET, you must add redirects into the online.config file within the web site root.

Right here’s tips on how to implement the commonest 301 redirections:

Redirect a Single Web page

<configuration>
<location path="old-page">
<system.webServer>
<httpRedirect enabled="true" vacation spot="http://www.web site.com/new-page/" httpResponseStatus="Everlasting" />
</system.webServer>
</location>
</configuration>

Redirect An Whole Area to One other

<system.webServer>
<httpRedirect enabled="true" vacation spot="http://www.newwebsite.com/" />
</system.webServer>

Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS

<configuration>
<system.webServer>
<rewrite>
<guidelines>
<rule title="HTTP to HTTPS redirect" stopProcessing="true"> 
<match url="(.*)" /> 
<situations> 
<add enter="{HTTPS}" sample="off" ignoreCase="true" />
</situations> 
<motion sort="Redirect" redirectType="Everlasting" url="https://{HTTP_HOST}/{R:1}" />
</rule> 
</guidelines>
</rewrite>
</system.webServer>
</configuration>

Redirect from Non-WWW to WWW

<rewrite>
<guidelines>
<rule title="Redirect http://web site.com to http://www.web site.com HTTP" patternSyntax="ECMAScript" stopProcessing="true">
<match url=".*"></match>
<situations>
<add enter="{HTTP_HOST}" sample="^web site.com$"></add>
<add enter="{HTTPS}" sample="off"></add>
</situations>
<motion sort="Redirect" url="http://www.web site.com/{R:0}" redirectType="Everlasting" appendQueryString="true"></motion>
</rule>
</guidelines>
</rewrite> 

The best way to Use 301 Redirects to Increase Your website positioning Efficiency

301 redirects may also help you overcome points that maintain again your web site’s natural visibility. Or take advantage of out of alternatives to drive development. 

Listed here are a number of the commonest methods 301s can be utilized to spice up your website positioning efficiency:

Merge or Redirect Skinny Content material Pages 

One of the crucial impactful methods to make use of 301 redirects is to make use of them as a part of a content material pruning job—merging skinny content material pages collectively to create items that cowl a subject in additional depth.

First, determine pages with little or no visitors, backlinks, social shares, and many others. 

You are able to do that simply with Semrush’s Content material Audit instrument. For this technique particularly, give attention to the “Poor content material” group. 

Poor content box in content audit tool

Then, redirect these pages to others that serve the identical intent. Or merge them collectively to create one thing of higher high quality. And redirect to the brand new piece. 

Migrate Your Weblog From a Subdomain to a Subfolder

This is among the commonest methods to make use of 301 redirects for fast website positioning wins.

A subdomain is sort of a little one of the dad or mum area. And is usually used to host blogs and shops. 

For instance, weblog.yourdomain.com 

And a subfolder is a part of your most important area. Like some other web page. 

For instance, yourdomain.com/weblog/

The factor is: 

Google can deal with your subdomain as a separate entity out of your most important area. 

Which implies Google may not bear in mind all the dear content material in your subdomain and its worthwhile property (like backlinks) when evaluating your main area. 

So, that will help you probably rank higher and drive extra visitors, it would make sense to redirect your weblog from a subdomain to a subfolder. 

Observe: Each web site is completely different, so don’t redirect a subdomain to a subfolder with out first doing all of your analysis to make it possible for can be a helpful transfer.

Resolve Key phrase Cannibalization Points

Key phrase cannibalization is when two (or extra) pages are displaying up in Google for a similar or extremely comparable key phrases and competing in opposition to one another. Google doesn’t know which pages ought to rank greater for which key phrases.

You don’t need that. 

And the only solution to repair cannibalization points is usually to redirect the lowest-performing web page to the opposite. 

By low-performing, we imply the one with fewer backlinks, decrease rating, decrease visitors, and many others. 

You possibly can shortly discover cannibalization points utilizing Semrush’s Place Monitoring instrument. Below the cannibalization tab. 

Cannibalization in position tracking tool

Merge A number of Web sites Into One

Generally companies run on a number of websites.

To illustrate you run a lodge chain and have a special web site for every lodge. It would make sense to merge these all into one.

Identical to Marriott does. 

Merge multiple websites into one

Once more, the aim is to mix the authority and fairness of a number of area properties into one, leading to a stronger web site that drives fast wins. 

Observe: This answer might not work in the identical approach for each web site or enterprise. Do your individual analysis earlier than transferring ahead with a website-merging or redirecting venture.

Widespread 301 Redirect Errors & The best way to Keep away from Them

Right here’s tips on how to discover and repair the commonest points with 301 redirects. 

Permitting Pages to 404

Don’t let pages return a 404 error when you can fairly keep away from it. It creates a horrible person expertise and may damage your website positioning efficiency. 

To keep away from working into this difficulty, run an audit in your web site each month. 

In case you use Semrush’s Website Audit, you’ll see pages returning a 4XX standing code beneath the “Points” tab. 

pages returning a 4XX status code

Redirect all 404 pages to different pages which are associated and/or serve the identical or the same goal. 

Utilizing 302 As a substitute of 301 Redirects

A typical difficulty amongst SEOs shouldn’t be understanding whether or not you need to apply the 301 redirect vs. 302. 

301 redirects must be used when the change is everlasting. And 302s when the change is just non permanent.

Once more, Website Audit may also help you discover these. You’ll see them as “URLs with a brief redirect.”

URLs with a temporary redirect

Except they’re actually non permanent, replace these redirects to 301s. 

Utilizing JavaScript for Redirection With out a Correct Setup

301 redirects are server-side. And JavaScript redirects are client-side. That means they inform the browser to get the content material from a special location. 

You would possibly need to use JavaScript for redirects when you don’t have entry to your server configuration or .htaccess file, are working an A/B check, or produce other particular wants. 

However do observe that they aren’t the optimum selection. 

Engines like google must render a web page to seek out the redirect. And if, for instance, Google can’t crawl a web site’s JS file, the web page can’t be rendered. 

Utilizing a 301, 302, or 307 redirect as an alternative of a JavaScript redirect is often beneficial to keep away from any points.

It may be tempting to repair damaged inside hyperlinks by redirecting the hyperlink to a different web page. However over time, this will create one other difficulty: a redirect chain. (Extra on that later.)

As a substitute, replace the goal of the damaged hyperlink first. Then, and solely then, add a redirect to the proper web page. 

You will discover damaged inside hyperlinks in Website Audit, beneath the “Points” tab. 

broken internal links

Redirect Chains & Loops

A redirect chain occurs when there are two or extra redirects between the primary URL and the ultimate URL. 

And a redirect loop is when a URL is redirected to a different, which in flip redirects again to the preliminary URL. Resulting in an infinite loop of redirects. 

Each of those points are detrimental to your web site’s person expertise and, probably, your website positioning efficiency. 

To repair them, first discover any chains and loops. Then, exchange the interior hyperlinks to redirected pages with hyperlinks to the ultimate URL. And replace current redirects to level on to the ultimate, most present URL.

Once more, you possibly can simply discover redirect chains and loops in Website Audit, beneath the “Points” tab. 

Like so:

Redirect chains and loops

301 Redirects and Technical website positioning

Discovering and fixing 301 redirect points is simply one of many many steps to enhance your technical website positioning. 

Try these assets to study extra about technical website positioning: