Use of page redirects is important to maximize the SEO equity and rankings of web pages. There are different kinds of redirects, and each one has a specific role. Failing to use proper redirects will lead to Page Rank loss. If used properly, the backlinks value awarded to your old URLs, flow directly to the new one. Thus your search ranking gets maintained, without causing traffic and revenue loss.
It is crucial to understand how to redirect WordPress website with a specially designed plugin like WP 301 redirect tool. The tool is user-friendly and offers a simple interface. You will not need to be a coding expert to use it. However, there are some tips you need to know about redirecting the visitors.
How bad are 404 redirects?
404 redirects are horrible! User experience is terrible and search crawlers can meaningfully penalize you for this. 404 mean Page Not Found because it is deleted from the website and server but backlinks and bookmarks are still there. When visitors request that page from their browser, the server interacts with 404. When the crawlers come across 404 several times, it de-indexes the URL from search results.
What are 301 redirects and when to use them?
301 status codes give search bot a hint that the requested URL has been permanently moved.
- If an entire site migrates to another domain address use 301.
- Several organizations purchase multiple URLs containing common misspellings related to their domain, so 301 redirects get used to transfer visitors to the right website.
- The confusion between www.bigbox.com and bigbox.com gets eliminated because many visitors write URLs without the www. The 301 redirects help other versions to get redirected to the chosen main domain. Thus user experience is good and even search bots clearly know what to do.
- Matt Cutts stated that when 301 redirects are used there will be no concerns about losing PageRank. This indicates 301 redirects will not hurt SEO performance.
How rel = “canonical” tag differs from 301 redirects?
A rel=canonical tag lets the search bots know that there is another same URL version. When really moving a URL, use 301 because rel=canonical tags are basically designed to avoid duplicate content issues.
What are 302 redirects and when to use it?
302 status codes are for temporary redirects. There are situations when you want traffic redirected for a short time.
- Redesigning a part of your website means only a temporary redirect to a different URL. The 302 help in offering visitors a continuing experience instead of sending a 404 error across to them.
- Site maintenance need 302 redirects
302 redirects are used in a few scenarios. Google understands that 302 got used when 301 was needed. Therefore, when 302 redirects get placed, the algorithm presumes it to be temporary. Soon it becomes obvious that the 302 is actually permanent, so they start treating it as 301 redirects. It means indexing the targeted page rather than the original URL. 302 redirects are used only when you are determined to bring traffic back to its original URL at some point soon.
Use redirects wisely to maintain good SEO performance! If you don’t use the redirects properly, then you will be left with choice but to reset WordPress to its original configuration.