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URL redirection, also known as URL forwarding, is a technique that allows you to forward your domain visitors to any URL of your choice. It could be to a new domain, a form, a page etc.
Redirects accomplish numerous goals and two examples are:
A redirect domain acts as a pointer to another domain or page. When accessing a web page on the redirected domain, the browser's URL is changed to the domain to which it is being redirected, temporarily or permananetly depending on how it is set up.
If you change a domain, use a 301 redirect to redirect a URL to a new destination permanently. By doing so, you inform both search engine crawlers and visitors that this URL has changed and they will be redirected to a new destination.
Any page you visit on your old domain is forwarded to the page on the new domain. For example, let's say you're redirecting oldwebsite.com to newdomain.com. If you visit oldwebsite.com, the URL changes to newdomain.com. if you visit oldwebsite.com/contact.html, the URL changes to newdomain.com/contact.html.
Another example where you'd want to use a website redirect is when merging two or more websites. This is especially common after acquiring new websites, or when satellite websites cease to exist.
The most important aspect of the 301 redirect is to ensure that you don’t lose visitors and that you don’t lose any existing rankings with the search engines. A 301 redirect, or permanent redirect, will ensure that both human visitors and search engines alike are automatically and seamlessly pointed to the new domain.
There is also a 302 redirect. A 302 redirect is a server-side redirect that redirects users from URL A to URL B, while signaling to search engines that URL A's content has been temporarily moved to URL B. It is used in man y cases like When you have a desktop and mobile website, and you want to redirect desktop visitors that come to the mobile website, and vice versa.
When redirection is not properly done on your website, it leads to what is known as redirect chain. Redirect chain occurs When one URL is requested, a redirect is used to redirect it to another URL and in turn this particular URL is redirected as well.
Redirect chains usually happen when businesses rapidly scale up their website and small redirect issues over the years turn into larger redirect problems. For instance, consider the URL:
Because it doesnt have the https expected for secure website browsing, you update the URL to:
This creates a redirect, but then you figure that there is no trailing slash after “info”. So you amend the URL again to:
The result is a redirect chain because you’ve now gone from one to three redirects with only minor changes. Now when one first URL is requested, a redirect is used to redirect it to the second URL and in turn this particular URL is redirected as well. Combined with other changes as the site scales, it’s easy to see how redirects can quickly get out of hand.
There are some reasons why you should avoid redirect chain. Redirect chains can hurt your SEO.
First of all, it affects user experience, which is something Google keeps in mind when they update their algorithms. The other part has to do with how it affects Google’s ability to crawl and understand your website.
So redirect chain can affect your website:
1. You lose PageRank due to link juice loss
2. Reduced Site Performance because your pages load slower
3. Your website is harder to crawl and this crawling concerns can lead to reduce SEO score
4. Your internal linking gets interrupted
Check out what Google says about redirection
To ensure that you dont have SEO rank loss due to redirect chains, you need to make sure that you have all your redirects done properly. You can check for redirect chain with an Online URL redirect checker. Online redirect checker tools will help determine whether your links are working as intended or not so you can go in and get them fixed.
One of the best solutions is SEOCentralTools URL Redirect Checker. SEO Central Tools URL Redirect Checker is a free SEO tool for checking the status of a website redirect links and analyze if it has redirect chains that can affect your website SEO. The www Redirect Checker is part of our robust 100% free online SEO tools.
You can check if your website redirect is done properly by using URL Redirect Checker from SEOCentralTools.com.
All you need to do is follow the steps below for a quick check:
1. Visit SEOCentralTools.com and go to the Web Page Size Checker Tool Page.
2. Enter the URL of your website address in the search field and press the Check button.
3. SEOCentralTools will check for all redirect types on your website and give you a redirect status.
This is what you will see if the website is up:
For example, if you check the redirect status of twttr.com, - which is the first domain of Twitter- in our SEOCentralTools URL Redirect Checker, you will see that there is no concern here because there is no redirect chain except a 301 redirect from that domain to twitter.com.
So the www redirect status is good.
If you changed your domain or you merged different websites with redirection or you have done any redirection on your website at any time, its important to check your URL redirect status always.
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