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Redirecting Web Pages – Learning About the Options and SEO Considerations

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All webmasters interested in search engine optimization (SEO) will take the time to learn how to redirect web pages. Since inbound links to a web page weigh heavily on search engine ranking algorithms, it’s crucial to optimize a website to learn how to retain the SEO benefits of these links via redirection.


What does redirecting web pages mean?

Typically, the web server on your site, where you host a web browser or search engine crawler, requests a page at a specific URL, will be trying to find the page at that URL so that the relevant File can returns to the requester. If the web page exists, the web server returns both the HTML required for the page and a 200 HTTP status in the reply header. 

Web pages on a site must sometimes be removed or moved permanently to a new location. In this situation, there are essentially two options for the webmaster:

  • Enable the old web page to return a 404 HTTP status for all subsequent requests to show the page could not be reached.
  • Trigger the search engine or browser crawler to request a new URL.
  • This latter option comes in handy when people talk about redirecting web pages.


Popular web pages redirection methods

There are several methods for redirecting applications for an old web page that is no longer available. The most common redirecting methods are:

  • the dimension of a meta refresh
  • Temporary redirection 302
  • Permanent redirection 301


Any of these redirect methods would result in a browser or a crawler needing a new page to avoid losing traffic on the site if a web page is removed or relocated permanently. Nevertheless, from an SEO viewpoint, the three approaches give different levels of effectiveness.


Redirection with the feature meta refresh

The meta refresh item is useful to forward pages to sites that do not allow redirection of 301 and 302. Sometimes this is the case with websites operated by free web hosting companies. This redirection method is helpful even when HTML is the only redirection tool available.

The webmaster effectively adds a meta update feature to the web page header contained in the old URL. This meta update element contains the new user URL, indicating how many seconds the browser should delay before the new URL is requested.

If the browser or crawler requests the old URL from a website, the HTML meta refresh element is returned by the web server with 200 HTTP status, indicating that the old page is visible. The requester recognizes the meta refresh element when the HTML loads for the old page. The requestor waits x seconds and then calls for the new URL. The web server returns the current HTML page with a status of 200 HTTP showing the new page.

Redirecting web pages through a meta refresh feature works, but SEO-friendly is not always guaranteed. When there is a delay of 0 seconds, some search engines may pass credit for connexions showing the old URL to the new URL. Nonetheless, Not all search engines support this.


Web pages redirected by 301 redirects

The only elementary SEO redirection option is a 301 (or permanent) redirection. Like the 302 redirects, the web server returns its name because of the HTTP status code used to redirect a web page. Like the 302 redirects, this redirecting tool can comes in handy with server-side scripting languages or utilities.

If a browser or crawler accessed an old 301 redirected web address, a 301 HTTP status code resturns to your web server with the new URL in the location field of the HTTP header. The status code of 301 informs the user that the old website has been moved and is now accessible at the new URL. The new web server URL should be retrieved by the browser or crawler to the new web page with 200 status code, indicating that the new web page is visible.

As the 301 redirect means that the page on the old URL is returning to the new URL. All incoming links that lead to the old URL attribute to the new URL. As those links rumble back, and for each connexion, the 301 redirects identify. The new URL will gain credit for inbound connexions to the old URL from an SEO point of view. It will assist the new URL in ranking keyword sentences, which may have been classified by the old web page.


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