SEO experts repair broken links and missing pages by using 301 redirects. This redirect is useful to getting the lost traffic, enhancing user experience, and transferring the link juice from old page to a new one.
They can even be risky, if not done properly. You can unknowingly create redirect loops and chains that can impact their indexability. To take advantage of the 301 redirects, learn how to configure them properly in different scenarios. You also need to understand what things to avoid while using 301 redirects.
What are the 301 redirects?
It is an HTTP status code that indicates whether the request was positive or not. It is a permanent redirect pointing from the old address to a new version. There are many kinds of error codes with different indications like –
- 200 for a successful request
- 500 for server error
- 400 for page not found
- 302 for a temporarily moved page or URL
How to configure 301 redirects?
You can set via .htaccess file on the server-side or via WordPress redirects plugins. Use the WP 301 Redirects plugin is recommended, as is simple and anyone can do it without programming knowledge. You can even opt for a cPanel redirect or domain level redirect method. The best option is to use a plugin to avoid the possibility of technical mess-ups. You just need to enter the existing URL and the target URL, and your redirect process is complete.
Why are 301 Redirects important for SEO?
The search engine aims to offer visitors the best experience, so bad resources don’t get displayed in the search results. If the resource requested is missing, it indicates a bad user experience.
The search bots will crawl the site to identify the requested resource and index them. After the indexer indexes, the ranking process starts. After the page gets indexed, it gets visible if there is a search for it.
The crawlers re-crawl the site frequently to identify any changes made to the page. Sometimes pages get vanished suddenly, due to server issue, or maybe because you deleted it by mistake. Google finds this out at some stage and gets unhappy. It eventually eliminates the 404 error from its index. If the problem is consistent, it may consider your website to be less reliable as you are wasting the crawler’s budget.
You can lose link equity if the 404 pages exhibit inbound links pointing towards them. This is detrimental to SEO. 301 redirects channel the link value of the old page to the relevant new one. Thus you don’t miss out on your built domain authority.
When to use 301s?
- Right after the website gets created
- Migrating from HTTP to HTTPs
- For broken links and pages
- Obsolete or useless content
- Changing URL for specific reasons
- Website redesigning
- Fixing of duplicate content issue
- Repairing the dynamic URL problems
- Rebranding and merging domains
Besides installing the WP 301 Redirects plugin, blogs or sites need to add WP author box plugin. The author box allows readers to interact with the post writers. The author’s credibility and reputation increase.
Simple Author Box plugin is popular with more than 400,000 active users. It shows the author’s name, gravatar, description, and you can add 30+ social icons. It is compatible with mobile, laptop, and desktop. You need to visit their website to check the advanced features offered.