Redirects are a common occurrence in the online world. For example, 301 and 302 redirects can be lifesavers when switching domains or reorganizing your website. However, they can have unanticipated consequences for your search engine optimization (SEO) when misused.
Fortunately, you can mitigate these effects. You can reduce the SEO impact of redirects on your website by becoming familiar with each type and knowing when to use them.
In this blog, we'll go over redirects and how to use them on your WordPress site. Then, we'll go through the differences between 301 and 302 redirects and how they affect SEO. Let's get started!
Redirects: A Basic Overview
Redirects are a helpful website management tool. Creating one is similar to putting up a forwarding address for a web page. For example, you might redirect all traffic to Page B instead of Page A.
This is handy in a variety of scenarios. For example, redirects are frequently used to avoid broken links. They are, nevertheless, necessary for more extensive activities such as moving your complete website to a new domain. You might also utilize redirects to promote your affiliate links on occasion more efficiently.
There are a few options for putting up a redirect if you find yourself in need of one. The first way includes gaining access to your WordPress site's .htaccess file, which requires the usage of a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client such as FileZilla:
If you choose this option, you should be pretty experienced with adding code to your website's files. This will help you avoid any mistakes that could harm your site.
Alternatively, you may use a plugin instead. The Redirection plugin by John Godley is a popular choice.
A plugin allows you to build and manage redirects without requiring a high level of technical knowledge. It can also be a more efficient technique than opening your .htaccess file regularly to monitor your redirection.
Whatever approach you use, keep in mind that there are two redirects in everyday use: 301s and 302s. Each has a different purpose and, as a result, an additional potential impact on your SEO.
The Effects of 301 and 302 Redirects on SEO (2 Ways)
Before you begin the process of setting up a redirect, you should be aware of the type of redirect you require to reach your objectives and the impact it may have on your site. When misused, redirects, in particular, can harm the SEO of your pages. Here's everything you need to know to get the most out of them.
1. 301 Redirections
Let us begin with 301 redirects. These should only be utilized for long-term relocations. Some instances include switching to a completely other domain name or repairing a broken link. Don't use a 301 redirect if you think you might wish to undo the change in the future.
If you do not employ a redirect and instead relocate a page to a different location, your visitors will be faced with the dreaded 404 error screen:
At all costs, try to avoid this. It will not only irritate your visitors, but it will also hurt your SEO.
However, even the proper usage of a 301 redirect can cause a temporary drop in your SEO. This is because search engines may require some time to recognize the change and transfer the authority of the original page to the new one. However, once your page's data has been migrated to the new URL, there should be little to no long-term SEO impact.
If you're changing domains, you can consider using a Coming Soon page on your new site until it's ready for visitors. You may also want to alter your address in Google Search Console during this process. However, it's worth noting that ordinary redirects that aren't tied to a new domain usually don't necessitate this level of care.
2. 302 Redirections
302 redirects, on the other hand, should be utilized for any temporary moves. Making changes to a page or running tests on your website are examples of possible scenarios. A 302 redirect should be used in any case when you intend to reintroduce the original URL.
Search engines understand that 302 redirects indicate that the move is temporary. This means that your original page's rating will remain unchanged. Unlike 301 redirects, it will not transfer the authority of your page to the new address.
If you decide that the relocation is permanent, you should change the redirect to a 301 as soon as possible. Failure to do so might severely impact your SEO because it will not transfer the data from the original page across.
Combined with choosing the optimum redirect for the given case, plugins such as All in One SEO can assist you in maintaining a solid web presence.
Redirects are typical, especially when your website grows and you need to update outdated material. Understanding how 301 and 302 redirects affect SEO might help you design a more visible site.
We discussed how two types of redirects might affect your SEO in this article:
- First, 301 redirects may result in a brief drop in your results as search engines adjust to the change.
- 302 redirects, which can harm your rankings if misused.
Do you have any issues concerning how these redirections will affect your SEO? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!