When a website is no longer available for any reason, webmasters redirect users’ visits to another page. Generally speaking, they indicate that the address of that page has changed and redirect the user to the new website.
In principle, redirects can be useful; however, if they are not used correctly they could affect, and much, the SEO positioning of your website. There are different reasons why webmasters use redirections:
- To delete or move a page.
- If two websites are merged into one.
- If you buy a new domain name (you have to redirect the pages from the old one to the new one).
- Update the website management system.
- Direct the user to a new destination.
If used properly, redirections will not be noticed and the user will not realize that he was redirected to another page. But if used incorrectly, if there are errors, Google’s ranking could be affected, as well as your page’s traffic.
Types of redirects
There are different kinds or types of redirections that, depending on the context, you would have to use. You should evaluate the situation and see what is best for you. If you have to redirect one or more pages of your website, you must evaluate what kind of redirection is needed and is the most appropriate, especially to avoid affecting the authority of the domain and the positioning in search engines.
301 redirects, permanent redirection
If you are going to permanently delete a page or move it to a different location and you don’t want to lose the SEO content, it is recommended to use this redirection. You can use it at any time to direct visits to the new location.
Most of the time it is the 301 redirections that are used in these cases.
302 redirects, temporary redirection
This is a redirection you should avoid using, as it does not offer the same SEO benefits as 301. Actually, 302 redirect can cause you problems in search engines, because it can make you appear as duplicate content.
This happens because, by keeping the new and old content, Google reads it as a temporary redirect.
307 redirects, temporary redirection
It is much more useful than the 302. It is mainly used to ensure that users do not repeatedly update a page with sensitive content, such as credit card information, while making a purchase at an ecommerce site.
It is important to remember that redirects are not recommended, as they affect the visitor’s experience by forcing the browser to search again and again for the web page. This is a significant amount of time that is wasted.
There are some tools that help you control redirection errors, such as the Link Redirect Trace, which checks if a redirection on your website is incorrect. With Http Status Code Checker you can check if redirects have been made. If there are, you will have the URL code and path mapping to check for errors.
Another tool is Google Search Console, which allows you to check for and correct 404 errors.
With these tools you can correct errors before they affect your website traffic and your SEO.