301 Redirects for SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Hoping to learn all that there is to be familiar with 301 sidetracks, including how to utilize them to support your natural traffic? You’re perfectly located.

301 sidetracks are straightforward. They’re utilized to divert one site page to another.

Yet, understanding how they connect with Website design enhancement is more convoluted.

In this aide, you’ll learn:

  • What 301 redirects are
  • How to implement them
  • How they affect SEO
  • How to fix SEO issues caused by 301 redirects
  • How to use 301 redirects to (potentially) boost organic traffic

What is a 301 redirect?

A 301 divert shows the extremely durable moving of a page starting with one area then onto the next.

Model: blog.ahrefs.com sidetracks to ahrefs.com/blog

In basic terms, a 301 divert tells the program: “This page has moved for all time. This is the new area and we don’t plan on moving it back.” To which the program answers: “Of course! I’ll send the client there this moment!”

That is the reason assuming you attempt to visit blog.ahrefs.com, it will not work out.

How to do a 301 redirect

There are numerous ways of doing 301 sidetracks, however the most well-known strategy is to alter your site’s .htaccess document.

Try not to see the record? That implies one of two things:

  1. You don’t have a .htaccess file. Create one using Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac). Just create a new document and save it as .htaccess. Make sure to remove the standard .txt file extension.
  2. Your site isn’t running on an Apache web server. This is somewhat technical, but there are different types of web servers. Apache, Windows/IIS, and Nginx are the most common. Only Apache servers use .htaccess. To check that your website runs on Apache, ask your web host.

Here are a few bits of code for adding normal sorts of 301 divert by means of .htaccess:

Significant. These guidelines are for Apache web servers as it were. Understand this assuming your site runs on Nginx, or this in the event that your site runs on Windows/IIS.

Redirect an old page to a new page

Utilizing WordPress? Eliminate the need to alter the .htaccess document with the free Redirection module.

It makes adding 301 sidetracks as straightforward as this:

Redirect an old domain to a new domain

SIDENOTE. There are many ways of doing this. I’m in no way, shape or form a specialist with regards to Apache servers and htaccess documents. This is the code that has consistently worked for me. Make a point to test this prior to carrying out on your site.

Significant! Assuming that RewriteEngine on is now in your .htaccess record, don’t rehash it. Simply duplicate the remainder of the code. It’s likewise conceivable to do this in Cpanel, which might be ideal.

Redirect entire domain from non-www to www (and vice-versa)

Significant! The position and request of code in your htaccess record matters as well. You might encounter undesirable impacts assuming numerous directions are put in “some unacceptable” request (e.g., divert chains, and so forth.). In the event that you’re wanting to execute a great deal of 301 sidetracks in your htaccess record, this is something that would merit investigating.

Redirect entire domain from HTTP to HTTPS

Significant! You should have a SSL declaration introduced on your site for everything to fall into place. Any other way, you’ll get the preventative “Not secure” message.

Do 301 redirects affect SEO?

Most Web optimization experts center around the connection between 301 sidetracks and PageRank.

Not acquainted with PageRank? It’s the recipe Google made to judge the “worth of a page” in view of the amount and nature of its connections. Obviously, PageRank is nowhere near the as it were “positioning variable,” yet it’s for the most part trusted that, all in all, higher PageRank likens to higher rankings.

Is there proof for that? Indeed, Google (re)confirmed PageRank as a positioning sign a year ago:

There’s likewise a reasonable positive relationship between’s Ahrefs’ URL Rating — which works along these lines to PageRank — and how much natural traffic a page gets:

SIDENOTE. The justification for why I’m discussing URL Rating (UR) and not PageRank is that Google ended public PageRank scores in 2016. Presently there’s absolutely no chance of knowing the amount of PageRank a page possesses. I’m not saying that UR is a PageRank identical by any stretch, yet it’s the nearest equivalent metric we have.

So how does this connect with 301 sidetracks?

Before 2016, in the event that you utilized a 301 divert to divert one page to another, there was some deficiency of PageRank en route. How much? That is questionable, however 15% appeared to be the overall suspicion. It’s additionally the reach Matt Cutts, Google’s previous Head of Webspam, implied in this 2013 video:

SIDENOTE. Matt didn’t really say that 301 sidetracks lost 15% of PageRank in that video. That was only the figure he utilized for instance. Notwithstanding, it’s the number that most Web optimization experts appeared to run with for many years. That is logical on the grounds that 15% likewise connects with the “damping factor” in the first PageRank patent.

For the wellbeing of contention, we should accept that the number was 15%.

In this way, in 2019, on the off chance that you divert domain.com/page1 to domain.com/page2, the diverted page ought to have comparably a lot “power” as the first page.

That is No joking matter, and it’s important for the explanation 301 sidetracks can be so valuable for supporting natural traffic. (Inclining further toward that later!)

However, 301 sidetracks can cause a lot of other Web optimization related issues that don’t frequently become discussed.

How to fix existing 301 redirect issues on your site

This is the way to find and fix existing issues connected with 301 sidetracks.

1. Make sure the HTTP version of your site redirects to HTTPS

Besides the fact that it adds an additional layer of safety for your guests, yet Google involves HTTPS as a positioning sign. Join that with the way that SSL endorsements are accessible free of charge through How about we Encode and there truly is no reason not to utilize HTTPS in 2019.

Yet, having a SSL endorsement is just around 50% of the fight…

You likewise need to ensure that individuals really visit the HTTPS rendition of your site, and that implies utilizing a 301 divert between the HTTP and HTTPS variant.

To make sure that this divert is set up, go to your landing page and take a gander at the URL bar. You ought to see https://[www].yourwebsite.com/, in addition to a lock symbol.

Change this to http://(not https://) then, at that point, hit enter. You ought to be diverted to the HTTPS rendition naturally.

On the off chance that this occurs, things ought to be really great generally. Yet, there can in any case be issues, as:

  • HTTP to HTTPS redirect isn’t implemented across all pages on your site (e.g., subdomains).
  • HTTPS to HTTP redirects

NOTE. Assuming that you see one page with a HTTP to HTTPS advance notice, and it’s simply the HTTP rendition of the page from which the creep started, then this isn’t an issue.

2. Remove pages with 301 status codes from your sitemap

Google looks to sitemaps to comprehend which pages to slither and record.

Since pages with 301 status codes never again actually exist, there’s no reason for requesting that Google slither them. Assuming that such pages stay in your sitemap, Google might keep on returning to them each time they re-slither your site. That is superfluous and squanders creep spending plan.

Here’s one method for tracking down such pages:

  1. Find your sitemap URL (this is usually yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml… but not always)
  2. Use this tool to download all the URLs.
  3. Paste that list of URLs into this free HTTP status code checker (note: limited to 100 URLs at a time)
  4. Filter for pages with 301 status codes.

Searching for a speedier and more straightforward technique? Utilize Ahrefs’ Webpage Review to slither your site, then head to the Outline report and search for “3XX divert in sitemap” mistakes.

Eliminate these URLs from your sitemap and supplant with the last divert URL (on the off chance that it’s not currently in there).

3. Fix redirect chains

Divert chains happen when there is a progression of at least two sidetracks between the underlying URL and objective URL.

This is the very thing Google says about these:

While Googlebot and programs can follow a “chain” of various sidetracks (e.g., Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3), we exhort diverting to the last objective. In the event that this is absurd, keep the quantity of sidetracks in the chain low, in a perfect world something like 3 and less than 5.

Divert chains fill no other need than to harm client experience and pump the brakes, so you ought to stay away from them where conceivable.

You can check for divert binds on up to 100 URLs utilizing this HTTP status code checker.

Search for pages with at least two sidetracks.

To check in excess of 100 pages in one go, check the Inward pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Review for “Divert chain” mistakes.

Clicking this will uncover every one of the URLs in the chain, including the last objective page.

  1. Replace the redirect chain with a single 301 redirect. Instead of Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3 > Page 4, the redirect becomes Page 1 > Page 4.
  2. Replace internal links to redirected pages with direct links to the final URL. This prevents Google and other bots from crawling the redirect chains. More importantly, it prevents actual humans (you know, the type who *might* buy something from your website) from having to deal with the slowness of multiple redirects when they click a link.

That’s what to do, sort the rundown of divert chains by the “No. of inlinks” segment from high to low. Then, at that point, click on the quantity of inlinks to see all inward connections to the diverted page.

Supplant the inside joins on the impacted pages with the immediate connections to the last objective URL.

4. Fix redirect loops

Divert circles happen when a URL diverts back to one of different URLs in the chain. This makes a boundless circle of sidetracks that can befuddle and trap both web crawlers and clients the same.

These are client experience executioners since they normally bring about a reaction like this from the program:

You can find divert circle mistakes in clumps of 100 utilizing that equivalent HTTP status code checker we utilized previously.

For in excess of 100 pages, check the Inward pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Review for “Divert circle” blunders.

  1. If the URL is not supposed to redirect, change its HTTP response code to 200.
  2. If the URL is supposed to redirect, fix the final destination URL and remove the loop. Alternatively, remove or replace all inlinks to the redirecting URL.

5. Fix broken redirects

Broken diverts are pages that divert to a dead page (i.e., one that profits a 4XX or 5XX HTTP reaction code).

These are awful in light of the fact that neither guests nor web search tool bots can get to the last URLs. Hence, most guests will leave your site, and most web indexes will forsake the slither.

You can check for these blunders in clusters of 100 utilizing a HTTP status code checker.

To actually look at additional pages, search for “Broken divert” mistakes in the Inner pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Review.

  1. Reinstating the dead page (if deleted accidentally)
  2. Removing the inlinks to the redirected URL.

6. Redirect 404 pages

Pages that return a 404 status are dead, thus the program returns a page like this:

Presently, there are times when a client seeing this page checks out. In the event that somebody types some unacceptable URL into their program, for instance, the mistake page tells them that something is off-base. You can see an illustration of that above — it checks out to return a 404 page for this URL.

Having said that, pages with 404 status codes are an issue when:

  1. They’re crawlable. Crawlable usually equates to clickable. And if they’re clickable, some users are going to end up clicking internal links on your site only to see a dead page. That’s not great for user experience.
  2. They have backlinks. Because 404 pages aren’t accessible, any backlinks that point to them are effectively wasted.

Click this to see each of the 404 pages that were found during the slither.

Then, hit the “Oversee segments” button, add the “No. of dofollow backlinks” segment, hit “Apply,” then, at that point, sort by this section from high to low.

Check the Backlinks report in Ahrefs Site Voyager for any pages with at least one “dofollow” backlinks. There’s an opportunity these connections might be important. Assuming they are, you’ll need to divert (301) that page to one more pertinent asset on your site.

For pages without dofollow backlinks, fix them by the same token:

  1. Reinstating the dead page at the given URL
  2. Redirecting (301) the dead page to another relevant page
  3. Removing or replacing all internal links to the dead page

Significant. Assuming you settle on #3, ensure that you supplant the interior connections as well as the anchor text and encompassing text where fundamental.

7

Never utilize 302 sidetracks or meta revive diverts for super durable sidetracks.

302 sidetracks are for impermanent moves, and Google prescribes not to utilize meta revive diverts by any means if conceivable. In this way, assuming that you have both of these on your site, you ought to plan to either eliminate them or supplant with 301 sidetracks.

To see pages with these HTTP status codes, check the Inner pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Review for “Meta revive divert” and “302 divert” issues.

Fortunately, both these issues can be fixed similarly:

7. Replace 302 redirects and meta refresh redirects with 301s

You ought to likewise plan to eliminate or supplant inside connects to diverted pages, particularly on the off chance that they’re probably going to confound clients who click on them.

8. Look for redirected (301) pages that get organic traffic

Pages with HTTP 301 status codes shouldn’t get natural traffic since they ought not be in Google’s file. Assuming such pages are getting traffic, it implies that Google hasn’t yet seen the divert.

To check for 3XX pages with traffic, check the Outline report in Ahrefs’ Site Review for “3XX page gets natural traffic” blunders.

Assuming that you got your rundown of 3XX pages from somewhere else (e.g., a HTTP status code checker), then glue them into Ahrefs’ Clump Examination apparatus in clusters of up to 200 to see page-level natural traffic.

NOTE. You could likewise really look at natural traffic in Google Examination or Google Search Control center.

Presently, assuming you as of late added the 301 divert, this probably isn’t quite a bit of an issue. Google ought to see it during their next slither, after which they ought to deindex the page.

To accelerate that cycle, glue the URL into the URL Assessment device in Google Search Control center, then, at that point, hit “Solicitation ordering.”

You ought to likewise eliminate these pages from your sitemap (see #2) and yet again submit by means of Google Search Control center.

9. Look for “bad” external 301s

Most sites interface out to applicable outsider destinations and assets.

That is fine… until the page to which to remotely connect gets diverted somewhere else.

For instance, envision that you connect out to a helpful asset. After a year, that space lapses and gets gotten by a terminated area tracker who erases the asset and sidetracks to their “cash” site. Presently you’re unexpectedly connecting to something superfluous (and possibly even unsafe) to your guests.

Hence, it means quite a bit to check for “terrible” outer 301’s every now and then.

To do this, make a beeline for the Outside pages report in Ahrefs’ Site Review and search for “Outer 3XX divert” alerts.

Click this to see a rundown of the relative multitude of diverted outer connections, in addition to the last objective URL.

Then, skim the report taking a gander at the URL and Divert URL sections. Search for diverts that have some issues. All in all, disregard things like HTTP to HTTPS diverts, and blog.domain.com/page to domain.com/blog/page diverts. Search for sidetracks to various destinations or pages.

The issue here isn’t such a lot of that the divert focuses to another site. The individuals who are know all about Neil Patel will realize that he combined blog.kissmetrics.com with neilpatel.com recently.

Original article title: Using the Magic of Qualitative Data to Increase SaaS Conversions

Redirected article title: How Understanding Your Customer Will Help You Create Copy That Sells

In these cases, it’s ideal to eliminate the inward link(s) to the diverted page.

To do this, fair hit the number in the “No.

How to use 301 redirects to boost your organic traffic

By this stage, your site ought to be liberated from any Search engine optimization frustrating issues connected with 301 sidetracks.

Presently it is the ideal time to quit fooling around and discuss how we can utilize the force of sidetracks to support natural traffic hugely.

The following are two techniques for doing that.

The Cocktail Technique

You have a glass of Coke. Mmm. You have a glass of rum. Delicious!

Both of those are extraordinary beverages by their own doing. Consolidate them, nonetheless, and you take things to another level. Hi, Cuba Libre!

So how does this connect with 301 sidetracks?

Consider both these beverages topically-related pages on your site. They’re each performing alright. They have a couple fair backlinks. They get some natural traffic. Not really awful by any means. Be that as it may, why not blend and combine those two pages into one to improve something even?

In doing as such, odds are we could change two normal performing pages into one tasty mixed drink of a page that performs way better!

We as of late did this with two of our posts on the Ahrefs blog:

  1. https://ahrefs.com/blog/skyscraper-technique/
  2. https://ahrefs.com/blog/skyscraper-technique-fail/

Both these articles were going downhill, so we chose to blend them into one new aide.

We then, at that point, republished at ahrefs.com/blog/high rise procedure/and diverted the other article to that.

  1. Consolidation of “authority”: Remember how 301 redirects no longer “leak” PageRank? By redirecting one of these articles to the other, we were able to merge the “authority” of both pages into one. Of course, this doesn’t work if the pages are unrelated because Google treats such redirects as soft 404’s. But because these two pages are similar, this worked a treat.
  2. Better content: Both of the articles we had were of decent quality. They were just starting to get a little outdated. By taking the best of both posts and merging them, we created a substantially better piece of content that, in our eyes, deserves more traffic.

Presently, the main inquiry that remains is how to repeat this technique, correct?

Step 1. Look for keyword cannibalization issues (with backlinks)

Watchword cannibalization is when at least two pages target and rank for the equivalent keyword(s). Finding such issues is an effective method for distinguishing open doors.

Thus, priorities straight, make a duplicate of this Google Sheet.

Then, glue your site into Ahrefs’ Site Pioneer, go to the Top Pages report, and commodity it to CSV.

Import the CSV into the principal tab of the Google Sheet.

That’s what to do, Go to Record > Import… > Transfer > Select the CSV > Pick “Affix to current sheet” when inquired

That is all there is to it. Go to the “Results” tab and you ought to have a few refined results.

Step 2. Find relevant opportunities

Following up, you want to eyeball the outcomes sheet for potential redirection open doors.

Here is a genuine model from the Hubspot blog:

These two pages rank in places #5 and #6 separately for “client created content.”

  1. Are topically very similar
  2. Have plenty of backlinks from unique websites (467 referring domains combined!)
  3. Get a bit of organic traffic

Two things stand apart about the ongoing highest level page:

  1. It gets almost 2x the traffic of the two posts from Hubspot combined!
  2. It has links 192 referring domains… less than half of the 467 referring domains to Hubspot’s two posts

So if Hubspot somehow managed to combine these two posts into one, and unite all that delightful “interface juice,” then, at that point, I’d say they’d have a decent opportunity to guarantee the main spot. This might actually 2x their traffic!

Step 3. Rewrite and merge the pages

Presently it is the ideal time to take the best things about each page and join them into one.

For instance, assuming we were doing this for the previously mentioned Hubspot articles, we’d presumably keep the part about “How to Run Your Own Client Created Content Mission” from one post:

To keep the importance of the new page as high as could really be expected, and relieve the gamble that Google will treat our 301 as a delicate 404, we could likewise check the Anchors report in Site Pilgrim for each page:

This gives some knowledge into why individuals connected to the pages in any case.

For instance, I can see that a fair couple of individuals are citing measurements while connecting to this page, so it could merit keeping those details in our redid post.

Step 4. Publish your revamped page and implement the 301 redirect(s)

Presently it’s at last chance to distribute your patched up post/page.

If both of the old URLs is a decent counterpart for your new post, then, at that point, go ahead and republish at a similar URL. You can then erase the other post/page and add a 301 divert to the new post.

You might review that is how we managed our high rise strategy post. We reused the/high rise procedure/URL.

If neither of the old URLs is a decent counterpart for your new post/page, then it’s likewise completely fine to 301 divert the two pages to an absolutely new URL.

For instance, if we somehow managed to blend those two Hubspot posts into this aide:

… then neither one nor the other old URLs would truly possess all the necessary qualities.

It would be smarter to distribute at something like blog.hubspot.com/promoting/client produced content/

In this way, we could do that, then 301 divert the other two pages to that URL. Straightforward.

The Merger Method

This is what has been going on with one site’s natural traffic in the wake of utilizing the consolidation technique:

That is a ~116% traffic expansion in a year!

Here is the cycle basically:

  1. Buy another business or website in your industry.
  2. Merge their site with yours using 301 redirects.

Backlinko’s Brian Senior member did this a year ago. He purchased another Website optimization blog — Point Clear Website optimization — and diverted it to Backlinko. As a matter of fact, it was he who utilized this technique to accomplish the outcomes you find in the screen capture above.

However, before you begin purchasing each site you can get your hands on, grasp this:

Having accomplishment with this technique isn’t quite as basic as purchasing any old site and utilizing 301s to divert all pages to your landing page. That is the languid methodology, and in 2019, it’s anything but smart. You likewise need to carry out 301 sidetracks on a page-by-page premise.

1. Re-home and redirect content

The greatest traffic gains are probably going to come from re-homing and diverting substance.

Brian Senior member did this with a portion of the posts on pointblankseo.com, including Jon’s notorious rundown of external link establishment systems.

Since Brian moved the post from the old space to the new with a 301 divert, those connections presently successfully highlight that equivalent page on backlinko.com all things being equal. The page has really recently moved to another home.

The re-homing and diverting of content is the most ideal choice when these apply:

  • The content has organic traffic
  • The topic is relevant to your business
  • The content is high-quality

Note that you can battle that last point however refreshing or revising the substance subsequent to moving and diverting it. Brian did this with that rundown of third party referencing methodologies, which hadn’t been refreshed since around 2012.

2. Delete and redirect to a different page

There’s no good reason for keeping or re-homing pages that:

  • Have little or no organic traffic potential.
  • Are duplicates of topics you’ve already covered

For instance, there’s no good reason for keeping the about us page from the site you’re combining since then you’ll have two about us pages… which has neither rhyme nor reason. This is additionally valid for different pages which focus on similar watchwords as existing pages on your site.

Re-homing these will simply prompt watchword cannibalization issues.

Also, on the off chance that pages have next to zero traffic potential, you should dispose of them and divert somewhere else. This is how Brian managed many posts on pointblankseo.com, like this post about outreach stages:

That post does not exist anymore. Brian diverted it to his blog entry about third party referencing devices.

He did this in light of the fact that the watchword “outreach stages” has no pursuit volume and no traffic potential. It’s anything but a point worth focusing on.

So it appeared to be legit to divert this post to one more significant post with traffic potential.

3. Delete and redirect to your homepage

Brian did this with the majority of the pages on pointblankseo.com, for example, this self image snare guide:

Why would that be a final retreat? All things considered, recollect what we covered before about Google regarding superfluous 301 sidetracks as delicate 404’s. This might happen while diverting presents and pages on your landing page.

Be that as it may, stop and think for a minute: on the off chance that you don’t divert these pages, then there’s a 100 percent chance of Google regarding them as delicate 404’s. End: you should divert them.

There’s one proviso to this, in any case, which is that you shouldn’t divert pages with bad quality backlinks. Doing this is probably going to hurt more than great, so make a point to check the Backlinks report in Site Voyager for each page prior to diverting.

In the event that the backlink profile seems to be this…

Final thoughts

301 sidetracks have a ton of purposes with regards to Website design enhancement.

Use them decisively and you could see colossal additions in natural rush hour gridlock. Be that as it may, it pays to ensure there are no current issues with 301 sidetracks on your site first, as these could be blocking your current and future Website design enhancement endeavors.

Did I miss anything in this aide? Tell me in the remarks or through Twitter.

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