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Using URL Redirects: What you need to know to improve your search rankings?

Using URL Redirects: What you need to know to improve your search rankings?

Admin 07-07-2021

Maintaining a website often needs you to make design and content changes to it to keep it updated with the latest digital marketing trends. This helps in keeping your website’s search rankings and visibility high. During such times, you need to shut down some of your web pages, whether temporarily or permanently. This is where you need to use URL redirects.

You do not want your website visitors to find a 404 error or lose all the backlinks and page rank that you gain with so much effort. Hence, using redirection is the most sensible way to ensure that the traffic that visits your website does not bounce back and your page rank does not dwindle.

That being said, how does using redirection for URLs impact your search rankings? Keep reading to find it out and if you find it useful, make sure to share it with your friends and peers.

What are URL redirects?

A URL redirect is a process of redirecting the visitor and crawler from a web page that is temporarily or permanently unavailable to another web page location that is available and has related content.

If you are moving the content of your web page to another location, then you need to use redirection URLs to make sure that the visitors and the search engine crawler find your content at the new location.

There are mainly two types of URL redirections that help the search engine understand which one to show on the search engine result page.

1.    Temporary URL Redirects

When you know that the content you have moved to another location is going to be brought back to its original URL, then you need to use the temporary URL redirects.

The temporary redirects are a weak signal to the Google search telling it to show the original source page in the search engine result pages. The temporary server side redirect is HTTP 302.

Other than the server side redirects, the delayed meta refresh redirects also give Google the same signal for temporary redirection of URLs.

2.   Permanent URL Redirects

Say, if you have an old article on a trending topic, but you already have crafted a new article with all the latest details and now you want people to visit your new article but your old article is ranking high.

Here you can use permanent redirects. The permanent redirecting URLs give the Google search engine a strong signal so that the search engine starts showing the target URL in the search engine result pages. The permanent server side redirect is HTTP 301.

Other than the server side redirects, the instant meta refresh redirects also give Google the same signal for permanent redirection of URLs.

When to use redirecting URLs?

URL redirection is important whenever you are moving your website or webpage content to another destination. If you plan on bringing it back to its original location after the site maintenance or upgrade, make sure to use the temporary redirecting URLs. This way, Google will keep the source location for longer.

However, if you are changing your domain or moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS protocol, then using the permanent URL redirection is the right choice. It will let the search engine know that the new source target is supposed to be shown on the result pages.

This results in your new URL showing up in the SERPs so that all the organic traffic that your previous page gathered will now go to the new URL. Furthermore, the permanent redirection will help any other users to move to your new content location without any hassle.

How do URL redirects impact search rankings?

Many businesses and marketers believe that URL redirection can ruin your page rankings. It is only half true. If you use the wrong redirection then chances are, you will lose your search rankings as well as the organic traffic, valuable backlinks.

That being said, URL redirection is also the best way to maintain your search ranking and traffic when you are moving your site or content to a new location whether temporarily or permanently. The only catch is to know when you need to use which redirect to ensure that you do not lose your web traffic and your SEO rankings on the search pages.

When used properly, it not only helps you to keep your search rankings but also redirects your web traffic to the right page and saves your backlinks from going haywire.

FAQs

How do I redirect a URL without losing SEO?

Using the correct URL redirect is necessary to ensure that the search engine crawler knows what you are planning. If you use the temporary (HTTP 302) redirect, the crawler will show the original source page in the search rankings while a permanent redirect (HTTP 301) will tell the crawler to index the new location in the search engine result page. If you use the right redirection, you will be able to save your SEO efforts.

Why are redirect chains bad for SEO?

Redirect chains occur when a page is redirected too many times. This makes it harder for the visitor to find the information they were looking for. Furthermore, a redirect chain makes it harder for Google to crawl your page URL after at most five redirects because of which there is a larger chance of your page not getting indexed.

Final words

When you are moving your content to a different URL, using the correct URL redirection can work in your favor to maintain and even improve your search rankings. For further help with search engine optimization, you can hire a digital marketing company that can offer you various strategies to rank higher on the search engine result pages.

You can also keep your website SEO in check with the free trial of the digital marketing tool.

Have you used URL redirects in your blog or website? How did it affect your search rankings? Let us know in the comments section below.

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