A redirect sends the search engine bots and visitors to a new URL, instead of the original page requested by them. It is necessary to have redirects implements while making changes to the URL structure, or if you are transferring content from an old domain to a new one. They are also used to connect different web conventions like HTTP:// or www with each other to help increase domain authority.
The only thing to bear in mind is to implement WordPress redirect appropriately so that most of the rankings are retained. If not done correctly, be prepared for a blow from search engines and traffic.
Common types of redirects for SEO best practice
301, permanent redirects
301 status code is the best WordPress redirect type because of the –
- Transfer is permanent
- Search engines get a clear picture that the URL has been moved to a relevant updated version
- 90% to 99% ranking power or link juice gets passed on to the new version
- Helps to maintain existing SEO ranking
- Search engines index the new page and remove the old one automatically
302, temporary redirects
A 302 status code means the page is moved temporarily. Unfortunately, you can lose all your link equity because 302 redirects implicate short term move to the search engines. However, currently, Google has been treating 302 as soft redirects of 301. Therefore experts advise web developers to use 301 redirects in order to maintain their SEO value.
Best redirect practice
While you perform redirects there are three main parts -the original URL, the redirect type, and the destination.
- The original URL is the page you don’t desire the visitors to see.
- The redirect type refers to the 301 and 302 to be implemented
- The destination is the new URL you wish the visitors to see.
When to redirect?
In several situations redirects are good –
- You wish outdated content to get redirected to updated content.
- While updating a webpage and so wish to direct visitors temporarily.
- A whole site’s permalink structure gets overhauled, so you need to redirect old links to a new structure.
When to avoid redirect?
In all situations mentioned above, redirects are a must, so that visitors get transferred from old content and broken links, to fresh updated posts permanently or temporarily.
Let’s look at an example when the redirect is unnecessary. You created a customized menu with URL without www, but it works with www prefix before the URL. It is an error, which needs fixing, or a chain gets formed, and your site’s speed can suffer.
How to curtail redirects in the WP site?
For curtailing the occurrence of multiple redirects, ensure that your key domain has a single redirect. Another precaution to take is to avoid creating redundant redirects on purpose. This will help to avoid performance issues, because of multiple redirects. If the site becomes real messy, then you might have to reset WordPress and restore the backup files again.