What is a 301 Redirect?
And why do I need one to keep Google happy?
What is a 301 Redirect?
There are two typical scenarios under which you'll want to consider using a 301 redirect:
1. Sometimes web pages move. Your page might have been renamed, or you may have combined two pages into one and one of them no longer exists.
When this happens you don't want Google or your users to land on a "404 Page Not Found" error. It's not a good look for visitors and Google does not reward missing pages.
2. You register a second (or third) domain name (e.g. www.anyware.nz) and want visitors who go there to see your web site (www.anyware.co.nz).
It's REALLY important that you don't have the same web site showing on two different domain names. This is duplicate content and Google is on a crusade to eliminate it. There is no surer way to get a ranking penalty.
A "server-side 301 redirect" is your web site's way of redirecting a visitor from the address of the old page to the address of the new page "properly". A 301 redirect can be used to redirect one page or an entire domain (web site).
Why is a 301 so important?
As well as sending users and Googles where you want them, it also tells search engines that "this page has been permanently moved". It tells search engines to update their indexes; delete the old page and insert the new one. Search engines like being up to date and they like you for helping them do it.
Can't I just use a link or HTML redirect?
Not if you like good rankings.
You could put a link on the old page that points to the new page and says "Click here for our new page". But google doesn't like pages that have old content, irrelevant content or no content. Best to send them to the right page.
You could use an HTML redirect. That's an out dated piece of code that can be added to your page that tells the web browser (Firefox or Chrome) to redirect to the new page. But that means your visitor has to land on the page, wait for it to load, get redirected to the new page and wait for that to load.
Google doesn't like when you mess your visitors around and your ranking will reflect that.
Setting up a 301 redirect takes a few minutes and there is also a small monthly cost for hosting the redirect.
|Monthly Redirect Hosting
|Annual Redirect Hosting||$108|
|301 Redirect Set Up
Free for Anyware hosting clients
Prices are in NZ dollars and exclude GST.