Be careful when redirecting pages

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Be careful when redirecting pages Every website admin encouter this problem almost every day. I would like to explain to you the possible solutions in this article. Site redirection problem occurs because of the transition from HTTP to HTTPS, when redesigning a site or actually from any other cause. You may say that there is no problem, but it is good to clarify all the steps and impacts it can bring. I recommend running the double count and one-time rule, because even the smallest error can have a negative effect on organic search engine traffic and the heavily built position in search results. The topic of redirection is very extensive, so here are some basic mistakes that I usually encounter in my practice. What is actually redirecting and what are the basic ways of redirecti..

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Be careful when redirecting pages

Every website admin encouter this problem almost every day. I would like to explain to you the possible solutions in this article. Site redirection problem occurs because of the transition from HTTP to HTTPS, when redesigning a site or actually from any other cause.

You may say that there is no problem, but it is good to clarify all the steps and impacts it can bring. I recommend running the double count and one-time rule, because even the smallest error can have a negative effect on organic search engine traffic and the heavily built position in search results.

The topic of redirection is very extensive, so here are some basic mistakes that I usually encounter in my practice. What is actually redirecting and what are the basic ways of redirecting?

What is page redirection?

Simply put, when redirecting a page, we give a sort of "command" for the browser to open page B when opening page A.


We have a URL www.example.com/old-page that we need to cancel for some reason, or do not work. This page will then open with "404 - not found". We should correctly redirect such a page to another content-relevant page to open its replacement instead of a broken page. When the user opens the old page A: www.example.com/old-page, the new page B appears on the browser: www.example.com/new-page.

What types of redirects do we know?

We usually know 4 types of redirects, using status codes 301, 302, 307 and the meta tag refresh. Which type should I use when I need to redirect my page?

Redirecting with 301

Redirect 301 is the most common way of redirecting and is also called "permanent forwarding". Status code 301 tells the browser that the page you are trying to open has been permanently redirected to another page (its content has disappeared and its replacement is on a new page).

The great advantage of this redirection is that it "transmits" about 90% (and more) to the so-called link juice (which is the quality of the page ranked by the search engine based on backlinks pointing to the page). This redirection is most often used in practice, and SEO is most recommended because it transfers a significant amount of page authority, called "PageRank."

Redirecting with 302

In the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) 1.0, this redirection is considered "temporary" - that is, the content of the original page is temporarily unavailable and therefore the page is redirected to another page (but only for a limited time). In HTTP version 1.1, this redirect means "Found," that is, the page was found, but it was moved to another location for an unspecified reason. Redirect 302 probably does not transmit the same PageRank as 301 redirects and is therefore not recommended to use it in practice.

Redirecting with 307

This redirection is used in HTTP 1.1 (temporary redirection) and is equivalent to 302 redirection in http version 1.0. As with the 302 redirects, neither 307 redirects do not transmit PageRank pages on the newly (redirected) page.

Redirecting with meta tag "refresh"

The "refresh" meta tag is used when we need to redirect users from page A to page B, respectively. for some reason, we need to update (retrieve) the content of the same URL. In the case of redirecting with the "refresh" meta tag, a short code is usually inserted into the page header that specifies the command to open a specific URL (usually over a certain period of time).


This technique, however, is not recommended from the point of view of SEO, because redirection is usually slower and only a very small amount of link juice is transmitted using the "refresh" meta tag.

How to properly redirect pages so that our search engine positions are not dropped?

Sometimes you've made changes on your site, you need to redirect pages, and you've been horrified to find that your hard-earned positions have dropped in search results, respectively. have completely failed? No fear! If the redirection is correct, this status should be normalized and returned after a few days (weeks).

You have to be patient and give the search engine time to make changes to record, reindex, and "evaluate". So what do you need to count if we have to go to redirect the page?

1. Each redirection of URL A to URL B loses a small amount of "force" of the redirected URL

We unfortunately have to count this fact. Therefore, it is advisable, if possible, to avoid redirecting pages (or to eliminate them and to use them only when necessary).

According to the well-known online marketing community moz.com, using redirects using status code 301, loses approximately 15% of page authority (PageRank). Also, beware of multiple redirects (for example, redirecting URL A to URL B, then redirecting to URL C).

However, the loss of authority for a Google search engine does not apply when migrating from HTTP to HTTPS (according to John Mueller from Google, no loss of link juice or PageRank when switching from HTTP to HTTPS using 301 and 302 redirects is not a threat). However, when migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, the content of the site is usually "shifting" permanently, so sites should be redirected using status code 301.

Among other things, I recommend that each site should go to HTTPS, which is secure, and you will definitely make a plus on search engines. Since January 2017, Google Chrome has begun to alert users that the HTTP site connection is not secure.


If your monthly URL is for example 1000 visitors, it's quite possible that when you redirect this page, the page traffic will drop slightly and no longer 1,000 users will be redirected. How much site traffic drops depends on the drop in the position of the keywords that bring traffic to that page. It should also be borne in mind that if your site drops from position 1 to position 4 from a certain keyword, the difference in traffic will be much greater than if your site from a particular keyword dropped from position 5 to position 8. Of course, you should also take into account the monthly search for the keywords that are brought to you by visitors. If your site is ranked first in search results for a keyword with a search term of 1000, for example, a 4th position would decrease your traffic much more than would be the case with a 10-month search keyword.

2. Site redirection may have an impact on the temporary decline of search engine positions

Any changes to your site that happen in real-time will be reflected later in the search engines. The search engine has a kind of "database" of pages (index) where all the indexed URLs of the site are found in the form they were when the site's last visited and enrolled in the index (indexed).

This means that when a change takes place on a website (such as a page redirection), the search engine must first find out that this change occurred, overwrite it in its index, and based on a large number of factors, evaluate it (and thus "Edit" the positions on which certain keywords will appear). However, this condition should be short-lived, and should revert to the norm when properly redirected.

The most common mistakes when redirecting pages

Let's take a look at the most basic redirection errors that have a negative impact on you, so it's better to avoid them. What is the error?

1. Redirect the page to an inappropriate location

Redirecting the URL to a different page content may cause a significant decrease in search results. One of the most important factors in terms of SEO is the history of the site and its content, and it is therefore necessary to always redirect to a page that is the same content, respectively. very similar.


Imagine having a website where you sell electronics and writing a comprehensive article about selling the Playstation 4 game console at unbeatable prices, with daily market monitoring and the cheapest. Imagine that this is a quality content that has been discussed in various forums, and search engines have "liked" it and based on content, history, links, and a number of other factors, your keyword page "the cheapest Playstation 4" in the first search rank. Next, imagine that you are redesigning the site, for example, and you decide to reduce the number of pages in the site, and you will cancel the prototype and direct it directly to the Playstation 4 product pages where the photos + product specifications are. You will say that the content is almost identical, but the search engine sees it differently. He will visit the original page where he finds that he has been redirected to a new page where he does not find any content that sells you Playstation 4 is the cheapest on the market for an unbeatable price etc. The search engine then evaluates the new content and most likely drops your page from the first because content has ceased to be relevant to the keyword "Cheapest Playstation 4".

2. Page does not convert - 404 (Not found)

I encounter this problem most often. For some reason, the URL will be canceled and will not be redirected, whether consciously or unconsciously. Avoid this error, and always make sure that the deleted page leads to "replacement content".

In the case of a conscious non-redirect, the site administrator can say, for example, "we published this article two years ago, it's not up to date, we do not need it." The page simply cancels the page and does not redirect it anywhere. But you need to realize that the article can be a popular search engine and brings valuable visitors to the site. A search engine that has that page in its index suddenly finds that the page has been canceled, the webmaster has not replaced it, and has not redirected anywhere. It then starts displaying it as 404 (Not found).

I therefore recommend that you always think in advance of what to do with an out-of-date page before you cancel it and definitely delete it. The best solution is to replace it with another, current page. What, for example, with a product that stops selling, that is, with the page on which the product is located?


Imagine that you are selling Playstaytion 4 and you have a created product page, but new game consoles suddenly come to market and you will say that Playstation 4 is no longer making much of your profit, or you will not sell it anymore. Theoretically it makes sense, right? What do I need to display a product page that I no longer sell? But there is another solution. The Playstation 4 product page can have a very good natural footprint, ie it would be a pity on her "visitors" to come. I would not personally disturb the site at all, I would only "download" it from the site so that no one could get it through an internal link (eg from the menu). However, the page will still be in the search engine index and can therefore be searched for by keywords. Since I do not want to sell Playstation 4, I'll add a readable text to the page that tells the prospective customer that I'm not selling the product anymore while directing it to another current product. I would like to use the "Forget Playstation 4" trailer, the new Slide Game Console is on the market! Find out more! ".

Final summary

When it comes to redirecting, always think about what to do with the "old" page. If you do not want to lose visitors (not only from organic search), find the old page to be replaced with the same or similar content.

When migrating to HTTPS, I recommend using a redirect using status code 301. When redirecting pages for another reason, I also recommend using the 301 code (unless it is a situation that requires a different redirect). In most cases, the URL is permanently aborted and should be permanently redirected in the "301 permanent redirect" way. Be assured that redistribution with status code 301 will take you to most PageRank pages, which is not guaranteed for other redirects.

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