What method do you use to redirect a page?
There are a number of methods possible to redirect pages. Typically, the choice of method will depend heavily on your usage, and what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, there are temporary redirects and permanent redirect. Each of these redirects have a usage case, and can be implemented through a wide array of technologies.
Types of methods to redirect a page
301 – Moved permanently, recommended
302 – Moved temporarily, should be used sparingly
What’s a redirect?
It’s a method to send users and/or search engines to a different URL from the one they originally went to.
301 redirects pass 90-99% of the ranking SEO juice to the destination page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this redirect. In most cases, you want to implement a 301 redirect.
302 redirects, are temporary redirects. According to some Google employees, in some cases a 302 redirect may be treated as a 301 redirect. If you are going to leave a 302 redirect in place for a long time, it may become a 301 redirect in Google’s eyes.
Meta refresh redirects are a type of redirect that’s executed when a user hits your page. They are slower, and not recommended. Meta refreshes pass some link juice, but aren’t recommended due to their slow execution, and loss of SEO juice.
SEO Best Practices when redirecting a page to another page
It’s common to redirect one url to another. It’s critical though you observe best practices, otherwise you risk losing SEO value. If your goal is to send both users and search engines to the new page, then you should do a 301 redirect. It’s crucial you remember that when you setup 301 redirects, it takes time for search engines to discover the 301 redirect and credit the new page. This timeline can be elongated, if search engines rarely visit the webpage. Options like 302s, will not pass rankings and/or search engine credit to the new page.
If your goal is to do A/B testing, and and you won’t be redirecting people to the destination page/pages permanently, then you should do a 302 redirect.
What to do when switching domains
If you’re switching domain names, you should be considering a 301 redirect in most cases (assuming you aren’t in a penalty). If you do a 301 redirect, you should redirect each page to it’s new counterpart. According to some Google reps, if you 301 redirect all the pages to the homepage, that could a 404 soft error on all of them, resulting in no SEO juice being given to the domain.
What to do when A/B testing landing pages
If you’re redirecting users to A/B test landing pages, we recommend using a 302 redirect. When you use a 302 redirect for a short period of time, Google let’s the original page you had rank, without interrupting your SEO rankings. This allows you to preserve your SEO rankings while letting you do the A/B test. We typically don’t recommend leaving this in place for an extended period of time. Some Google reps have mentioned that 302 redirects can be treated as 301 redirects, if left in place over an extended period of time. This leads us to believe that if you’re doing A/B testing with a 302 redirect for an extended period of time, this could cause harm to your rankings.
What to do when you change the permalink slug of page
If you change the URL of your page, such as: www.lawyer.com/criminal to www.lawyer.com/criminal-lawyers, then you should a 301 redirect from the original link to the new one. In this case, it’s assumed you tried to improve the SEO friendless of your page, and changed the URL. In this case, you want both users and search engines to see the page has changed – and to give SEO credit to the new page. The 301 redirect will be the safest way to do this.
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