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301 redirects and SEO. Everything you need to know

By implementing a 301 redirect, you can signal to Google search engine crawlers that a given site is available at a different address, thus avoiding duplicate content that may harm SEO. What exactly is it and how to do a 301 redirect? Find out in our article.

301 redirect – what is it?

A 301 redirect is a constant transfer of a website from one location to another . The numbers 301 are the HTTP status code. 301 redirects send the user to a different URL where the content is located.

The biggest benefit of 301 redirects is the permanent address transfer, without losing page power. Hence, 301 redirects are especially appreciated by positioners and SEO specialists. The position of the website in Google, which we have developed over the years, is not threatened.

Types of 301 redirects:
– internal – internal 301 redirects take place within the same domain. The user is transferred from one subpage of the website to another;
– external – external 301 redirects are for transferring a user from one domain to another, so the site URL changes.

When to use 301 redirect?

Redirects are necessary when we make any changes to the URLs on the site. They are especially recommended in two cases:

Organizing URLs and merging them into one address

This is important when users enter different versions of the address into the browser (e.g. without www or with www). For Google robots, the address and are two separate addresses. Therefore, in order to avoid the risk of content duplication, it is necessary to redirect all versions of the page address to one canonical form. You can also use the 301 redirect, if the navigation of your site was incorrectly designed and is chaotic for users. This way, you will be able to introduce more order to your site.

Transferring the website to another domain

In order not to lose the earned position of the page, in this case it is very important to implement a 301 redirect before the data migration. If we plan to implement more than one 301 redirect, pay attention to the order of the code in the htaccess file. A great tool that allows you to monitor http statuses and redirect chains is One of the most common reasons for a 301 redirect is to switch from http to https.

Replacing the product with a new model

If you run an online store and decide to withdraw the selected product from the offer and then replace it with another, newer model – you can use the 301 redirect. Then you will not lose the customer, but encourage him to get acquainted with the new version of the product he likes. This way you will also let search engines know to pass the link power to the target subpage.

Link recovery

One of the key ranking factors is external linking. Sometimes there are references to a company or product on the web that contain incorrect links that lead to subpages containing 404. Unfortunately, 404 pages do not provide any power, so if the links cannot be updated, it is worth setting a 301 redirect for individual subpages.

When not to use a 301 redirect?

The 301 redirect is a great solution that can greatly improve the optimization of your website, but you must not forget that it is a large interference in the structure of your website. Using a 301 does not change much for the web user – they can only notice a change in the URL they end up on. However, for search engines it means a large scope of work – full re-indexing of a page may take from several days to several months. The result of work on the transfer of the page may be fluctuations in positions for some time. For this reason, it is sometimes worth considering whether the use of a 301 redirect is really necessary in your case.

Therefore, you should refrain from using the 301 redirect while you are in the middle of or just before the sales season in your industry. During this time, your website should be as stable as possible, do not risk fluctuations in position and organic traffic, as this may negatively affect your conversion results. The risk is also that it is easy to make a mistake with such changes, so you should have time to observe and implement any changes. Do not do anything under the pressure of time, rush is never a good advisor.

Also remember that redirecting a page to a different address is not always a good idea. If your addresses are legible and valuable, and your goal is to make only minor changes – rather, give up the redirect plan. It should be remembered that redirecting to a different page is a big interference, which should be carefully considered in terms of its impact on the effects of positioning and using the website. Will this action have a big impact on improving SEO? Will the redirection make the navigation on the website much more user-friendly? If the answer to these questions is negative, it may be safer to opt out of redirect.

It should also be remembered that redirecting to another page should not be abused . Do not direct all old subpages to the home page, use different solutions. Old subpages should have a new equivalent, they can also be deleted, and then instead of a 301 redirect, you can use, for example, 404 (not found) or 410 (gone) code.

301 redirection and SEO. What impact does it have?

Currently, 301 is one of the most effective and safest redirect methods for search engines. Even until 2016, the use of 301 redirects was assumed that some of the link power was lost in this way. However, in August 2016, a Google employee assured that currently redirect 301 is transferring 100% of the power to the destination address . Therefore, a properly configured redirection from to should in no way have a negative impact on the positioning of a given page. However, keep in mind that indexing your site may take a long time, which may temporarily affect your position fluctuations. When it comes to 301 redirect and SEO, it can also be emphasized that this solution has a great impact on external links, which are an important element of SEO. 301 is an invaluable support in recovering lost links that ultimately lead to a non-existent 404 page. In this case, it is recommended to redirect the non-existent page to another, similar, for example from the same category.

Other types of redirects on websites

301 is one of the most popular solutions to redirect a page to another address. However, there are different types of redirects, and it is important to know each one to be sure which solution is best for you.

Redirect 302 (found)

The 302 redirect works in a similar way to the 301 redirect, but with the difference that it is temporary. From the user’s point of view, the result is the same as in 301, but from the search engine’s point of view, the difference is significant. The 302 redirect informs that the resource has temporarily changed its address, but the search engine should not remove this address from the index or replace it with the new address. In this case, Google bots will return to the original address to verify that the content has been restored. In practice, the 302 redirect is not used very often. Its use is usually due to the default redirect automatically setting 302 instead of 301, which the developer may have missed.

303 redirect (see other)

This is another type of temporary redirect, but it only works with forms that send data via HTTP POST. In the next step, a redirection to a specific address is started.

304 redirect (not modified)

In the case of this redirection, the resource is not subject to any modifications, from the user’s point of view, the content is the same. The purpose of the 304 redirect is to inform the search engine robots that the data in memory is up to date . The content on the page can be displayed to web users, but it must be downloaded from a source.

305 redirect (use proxy)

This redirect is used to run on a designated proxy server , the site content will be displayed there. The message used contains the specification of the server to which the browser should pay attention.

Redirect 307 (Temporary Redirect)

This is a temporary redirect, which is similar to both 302 and 307 redirect. The main difference is that if you use 307 redirect, the query method should not change, the use of 307 should also mean that recipients support correct redirect recognition by support for the HTTP / 1.1 specification.

How to redirect a 301 page?

If you have decided to implement this solution on your website, you are probably wondering how to redirect a 301 page. You can do it in different ways, depending on what will be a better fit for your website.

How do I redirect a 301 page using .htaccess.?

In most cases, the 301 redirect is implemented using a .htaccess file. You can find it in the main directory of the website. If for some reason you don’t have access to it or don’t know where to look for it, just contact your hosting company. Then add the optimized code below to the file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond% {HTTP_HOST} ^ (www \.)? Old-domain \ .com [NC]
RewriteRule (. *) Http://$1 [R = 301, L]

How to make a 301 page redirect in WordPress?

If your website is built on WordPress, setting up a 301 is very easy. They can be implemented through the CMS administration panel using ready-made plugins. The free Redirect plugin, available at:, will help you with this.

What to do when 301 redirect is not working?

Unfortunately, 301 redirect is not a reliable solution and always works fine. Sometimes it is necessary to use an additional solution, then rel = “canonical” comes to the rescue. This is a meta tag that is placed in the HTML header of a website. The purpose of this tag is to inform Google that there is duplicate content, or content that is nearly duplicate.

The use of rel = “canonical” may be necessary when a redirection from a domain to a subdomain has been used, for example from to This is because Google will try to crawl the most relevant address, which may be considered a web address that is shorter. Then the mere use of the 301 redirect may be insufficient and it is worth combining them with the use of the canonical tag.

To properly implement a canonical link, you need to make sure that the original source is properly marked, while duplicate content should send users back to the source.

301 redirects and SEO. Everything you need to know. Summary

It cannot be denied that by using, for example, 301 redirects from http to https, you gain particularly important benefits in positioning the website. Remember, however, that the redirect must be implemented correctly. If we are not sure whether we can do it ourselves, it is worth entrusting such activities to specialists to make sure that it was done correctly.

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