What is a 301 redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent reference from one URL (often an old page) to a new URL (the page to which the content of the old page is transferred). Essentially, it is a method of permanently redirecting one web page to another. It tells search engines and browsers that the page has been permanently moved, ensuring that visitors are automatically directed to a new destination.
Why are 301 Redirects Important?
301 redirects are essential for maintaining SEO value, preserving user experience, facilitating website changes, and handling domain migrations. By leveraging 301 redirects effectively, you can ensure the smooth and successful transition of your website while minimizing any negative impacts on search engine rankings and user engagement.
In summary, with a 301 redirect, you can:
- Avoid 404 pages for crawlers
- Redirect users to the correct page
- Transfer link value from old pages to new pages
Avoiding 404 pages for crawlers
When a page is broken, it presents with a 404 error message. While they are a natural part of the websites eco system, persistent 404’s can suggest that your website is poorly maintained or neglected which is not good your website’s SEO. Ideally, users should never see a 404 error message; but this is also important for the search engine crawlers. If crawlers frequently encounters 404 pages when crawling a website, it will affect crawlability and negatively impact the SEO of your website.
Improving user experience
For users, an error message can often disrupt the browsing experience, giving the impression of a poorly maintained and out of date website. This negative experience may lead to a loss of trust and credibility, causing users to abandon the site and seek alternatives. User experience is always leading for Google in rating websites. 301 redirects make the user experience more enjoyable and seamless.
Transferring link value of pages
In case you give an old page with link value (authority) a 301 redirect, this has immediately a positive effect on the SEO of your website. You will be maintaining and possibly expanding the rankings of keywords you want to score on. We often experience this with pages that are bundled in content. For example, think of a series of pages that are cannibalized and on the same topic. When you have merged the content and set the 301 redirects from the older pages to the new page, we found out that this will lead to a positive result in the search engine.
Tiemen is an SEO Consultant at Seeders Zwolle, where he combines his love for technology with a passion for problem-solving. He has a knack for diving deep into SEO algorithms, understanding the nuances, and applying them to improve client rankings. Tiemen’s expertise lies in his ability to transform complex SEO principles into understandable and actionable strategies for businesses of all sizes.