Impacts of Redirect URLs on SEO of Your Website

Redirects are a staple of every website. To run your website smoothly, you have to rely on redirects. Although redirects allow your website to function properly, they also have implications for the SEO of your website. Redirect URLs greatly affect the search engine rankings of your website.

Google released a document explaining the impact of the redirect URLs on search engine rankings of a particular website. In this document, Google elaborates on six types of redirects and their impact on search engine rankings.

With so many SEO factors and a plethora of companies providing SEO Services, it is easy to get overwhelmed by this all. There was not enough information from official channels regarding redirect URLs and how they influence search engine rankings.

But recently, Google’s representatives Garry Illyes and Lizzi Harvey added about eight pages of content containing valuable information on 301 redirects. Alongside 301, they added tons of information on other types of redirect URLs.

This helps us to understand how Google sees redirect URLs and how to use them effectively. Without harming your search engine rankings.

Redirect URLs and their Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Redirect URLs are not visible to users in most cases. Search engines treat redirect URLs quite differently. It is considered as a signal of the strength of the URL.

Redirect URLs are divided into two main categories

  • Permanent
  • Temporary
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Permanent redirect URLs is considered as a strong signal by search engines that the target URL is the one to be shown in the search results. In the case of temporary redirect URLs, it is often regarded as a weak signal for search engines.

Let’s discuss in detail all six types of redirect URLs and their repercussions on rankings.

Server-Side Redirects

A server-side redirect is a redirection process in which the server forwards a 3xx HTTP status code. The most common 3xx redirect codes are

HTTP Status Code Type

301 Redirect

301 redirect is a server-side permanent signals search engines that the content of a particular page is permanently moved to another page. It is widely considered to be the ideal method to redirect a page to a specific URL.

Redirect URLs

Another benefit of using a 301 redirect is that it transfers almost 90 – 95% of page authority to the new page. Hence providing SEO benefits to your website.

302 Redirect

Similar to 301, 302 also redirects users from one URL to another. They both are different from each other as 302 only indicates that a page is redirected temporarily while 301 redirects permanently. In the case of 302, link juice or page authority is not passed to the new page.

At the user end, there is not much difference in the performance of the website whether you use 301 or 302. Search engines treat both the redirect URLs differently, hence affecting your rankings based on the type of redirect you are using.

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Cases in which 302 is used

  • When you need to move a URL temporarily
  • When you want to redirect users to a different page based on the location they are from and the language of that region.
  • When you have both mobile and desktop websites and you want to switch users between both of them.

303 Redirect

A 303 redirect is used to ensure that users won’t be able to re-submit a form after pressing the back button. The 303 redirect makes sure that the redirect to the temporary URL is made by using the GET HTTP method. This is why 303 redirects should only be used for form submissions and handling.

307 Redirect

307 is an upgraded HTTP 1.1 variant of 302. It was created to ensure that the HTTP method used for a request doesn’t change when the server implements a redirect. A 307 redirect makes sure that whatever method is used to redirect stays a part of the redirect.

If GET HTTP is used it stays a part of the redirect. Similarly, if POST HTTP is used it stays a part of the redirect. It plays the same role in search engine rankings and SEO as of 302.

308 Redirect

The 308 redirect is the permanent version of the 307 redirects. Therefore, a 308 redirect also keeps the original HTTP request method. Although as it is a permanent redirect, it passes page authority to the new URL. with that being said, it is better to use 301 permanent redirects as the information about the 308 is still vague. There is no official knowledge on how search engines treat the 308 redirects.

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Meta Refresh Redirect

A meta refresh is a client-side redirect. It is located in the head section and is implemented by using the meta refresh element. This is used to signal the browser to refresh or load another page after a certain period of time. (usually in seconds). Here is an example of a meta refresh redirect URL:

Javascript Location Redirects

Javascript redirect is used to instruct the browser to load another URL. Google search engines utilize web rendering services to execute and interpret Javascript after a URL has been crawled. Here is an example of a Javascript redirect: URL:

Crypto Redirects

This entails including a link to a new page along with a brief explanation. Users will be able to find your new page, and Google may see this as a crypto redirect.

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Abdullah Sadiq
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