In SEO, a “redirect” is a method used to send users and search engines to a different URL from the one they initially requested. Redirects can be essential for several reasons, such as maintaining or consolidating the search ranking of a particular webpage, managing website migrations, or updating a site’s structure.
This permanent redirect informs search engines that a page has moved to a new location permanently. This is the most common and SEO-friendly method of redirection, especially when you’re migrating your website or merging two websites. A 301 redirect also passes most of the link equity (or “link juice”) from the old URL to the new one.
This is considered a temporary redirect. It tells search engines that a page has been moved temporarily and they should continue to index the original URL. However, it’s generally advisable to use a 301 redirect unless you’re certain that the change is genuinely temporary.
When done correctly, redirects ensure that search engines understand changes to your site’s structure, helping to preserve your website’s organic ranking power.
It’s essential to set up redirects when deleting pages, changing the URL structure, or moving your site to a new domain so that users don’t land on a 404 “Page Not Found” error and your site maintains its SEO strength.
In essence, redirects play a crucial role in SEO, ensuring a smooth user experience, maintaining organic rankings, and guiding search engines through site changes. It’s always essential to use the correct type of redirect and regularly check for broken or unnecessary redirects that might harm your site’s performance.