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301 Redirect SEO Guide

301 redirects is considered as the permanent change of a web address (url). In this case, Search engine, such as Google, will pass away the ranking to the new page, so it’s widely used when changing url of an existing page. Before we go into this topic, let us discuss various types of redirecting methods:

There are three different types of redirects:

  • 301 redirects
  • 302 redirects
  • 307 redirects
  • Meta refresh

301-redirect-seo-guide

301 redirects are sometimes referred as moved permanently redirects. 302 redirects are well known as moved temporarily redirects. 307 is also a temporarily moved redirect since it is a successor or say developed form of 302 redirects. Meta refresh is listed here; however, it is not a redirect. It is a completely different method of solving the same issue as these redirects do. Despite of this article being all about 301 redirects SEO methods, here is a little bit of knowledge about 302 redirect, 307 redirect and Meta refresh methods:

302 redirect & 307 redirect:

302-redirect-307-redirect

Both of these are temporary redirects. Despite of being two different types, same job is carried out by them. Thus, we are going to bundle them up within this very single topic. The objective remains the same; these kind of redirects will point search engine crawler bots to the new location of your URL. However, they would not treat this change as permanent one. As a result of this algorithm, any of the SEO authority would not be transferred to the new URL location, which is earned by the original URL over its lifetime. Let us get back to the last post office example to understand a little bit quick. When you are going out of town, you got to ask the post office authorities to hold any mails that are arriving to your house while you are out of town. These kind of redirects are used in two cases only: first is when you need new URL only for a few days. Second is when you already have a redirect which is not passion SEO authority to new location purposefully. Most of the people avoid using 302 redirect and 307 redirect in any case since they do not pass any SEO authority to the new URL location, neither are they recommended to use by any expert technician.

Meta Refresh:

Meta refresh is comparatively slow and in most of the cases, it is treated as a usability tool. Meta refresh can be noticed on many governmental websites or any other type of websites that are secured using external links. Whenever such external link is clicked, user / visitor will get a countdown saying that he / she would be redirected to targeted URL within a few seconds. A link is also provided to click in case the redirection fails. This is the most general example of Meta refresh. In most of the cases, Meta refresh is used in order to delay the redirection process in order to load actual URL first (for security reasons of course). It is noticeable that a small amount of SEO authority would be passed if Meta refresh is used for redirection of new URL location. However, this method is not recommended since it will delay loading time that is never too good for reputation of your website.

After this quick introduction, we are now moving this discussion to the main topic, which is 301 redirect SEO.

301 redirect Guide

301-redirect-guide

The 301 redirects fall under the category of moved permanently redirects. These kind of redirects are most recommended when switching URL paths of your website. Main reason of this technique being the best is that it passes all the SEO authority to the new URL location. Great! Isn’t it? This is what any website owner would be expecting while switching URL locations.

How search engine bots crawl over web

Before jumping upon various techniques, one simply needs to understand how your websites are scanned or scrawled by search engine robots, which will add some context to your understanding.

Some people believe that according to the algorithm pattern of a search engine robot, your website is either fully scanned or completely ignored by most of the search engine robots. Despite it sounding technical, it is damn false. Any search engine robot would scan your website page by page not as a whole. It is even possible that some pages may be scanned / crawled and some are left without scanning. Your website would be treated as a group of pages and each page would be assigned with following factors:

  • If the page is relevant with search phrase or not
  • SEO authority assigned to the page (page ranking in other words)
  • Backlink profiles (weather the backlinks are good or penalized)
  • SERPs rankings (Search Engine Result Pages)
  • Different pages from website would be displayed on the result page based on the search query made by user and how relevant the page is to that query
  • Search signal counts too

So the conclusion is that your website is a group of pages with their own strength and weaknesses. It is surprising for many website owners that homepage of their website is not always the main attraction for search engine robots. Sometimes, other pages are the main SEO asset of your website.

When 301 redirect is required?

As you continue as an handler of online business, you will come across plentiful of situations and circumstances, where you will require 301 redirect. For your understanding, here are some most common of them:

  • You need a 301 redirect when you are making updates on the website that are causing some URL paths to change for successful updating. For instance, path to contact us page is http://www.website.com/contact.html and will be updated to http://www.website.com/contact/
  • 301 redirect is also necessary when you want to secure entire website by acquiring a security certificate (SSL). Here, you homepage URL will go through a little yet bigger change from http://www.website.com to https://www.wenbsite.com
  • This list would be stretched up to any other similar situations in which you require to redirect your visitors to a different URL location from the original location.

Why 301 redirect is preferred over other types of redirect?

why-301-redirect-is-preferred-over-other-types-of-redirect

While redirecting from original URL to new one, about 90 percent of SEO authority is redirected too, it includes page rankings, indexes, search signals, etc. This does not remain the same with other redirection methods such as 302 redirect, 307 redirect or Meta refresh (too slow, you know!). 301 redirection allows you to change your website according to your wish and also allows keeping the SEO authority to new URL as well as it was for the old one.

Creation and implementation of 301 redirects

There are various 301 redirect generators available out there which does not require any software to be downloaded. However, they are only recommended while you own the most simple / static website. In other scenarios, following methods can be useful too:

  • Using Apache Server: Apache server’s rewrite module feature is useful to implement 301 redirects. It is recommended when redirection includes changes regarding to several files and folders. This kind of redirection is also referred as major site wide domain redirection. When the redirection is supposed for a limited number of specific files and folders, .htaccess file is used to insert 301 redirect code. This method is often referred as 301 redirect .htaccess.
  • ASP .NET: This method uses ISS URL rewrite module to tackle 301 redirects. This method is known as 301 redirect php.

Both of these methods are comparatively complex compared to automated 301 redirect generators. It is recommended to hire some expert if you are not familiar with these methods. Online help would be helpful too.

Common problems after the implementation

Like any other SEO strategy, 301 redirections is much likely throw problems rather that desired results despite of everything done properly. Here are some common problems reported widely.

When 301 redirect is deployed properly, it can get the job done real quickly and transfers almost all of the SEO authority from original source URL to new URL location. However, it is search engine robot that might require some additional time in order to understand the change and update their index and rakings. Besides that, sometimes SEO authority too requires some additional time to be transferred to new URL location successfully. A website with health crawl / scan search engine frequency would require to bare some higher and lower ranking fluctuations for one weeks or two. However, the changes would be stabilized after this period. It should be noticed that this time period would be stretched even longer if the implementation is made between different top levels of domains.

Rakings were dropped after a certain period of 301 redirect implementation

While applying this method, you need to be super careful about what you new page is all about. In order to maintain your rankings, make sure that the content of the new page is relevant to the content of old page. This is the most common reason why rank drops are encountered after the implementation of 301 redirect. For example if a page selling red shoes is now redirecting to a page selling green shoes, the ranking would certainly be dropped. As long as the content of the new page stays relevant to the old one the SEO authority and ultimately the rankings would remain the same. It the content is not similar and relevant, it will eventually start to drain and vanish completely if the issue is ignored.

Can #1 search results ranking get back with 301 redirect?

A big NO here! If you attempt to redirect a penalized page to new URL location, you will initiate the risk of getting the new page penalized too. People enjoyed this game at the beginning. However, Google soon figured out the fact and altered their search engine robot’s algorithm to restrict such spam redirections. Other fact is that there are still some cases that saved themselves from getting penalized again! Even they do not know how since they applied simple 301 redirect. They managed to last for additional few years. So, if you are ready to attain such risk for the sake of your old ranking, go ahead and try it!

Time period for redirect 301

Time period for redirect

There is no specific time limit for which one needs to keep the 301 redirect active after the implementation. However, Google suggests that a 301 redirect should remain active at least for a year after its implementation. It is not bad to keep them indefinitely active in rewrite module of your server or in .htaccess file as hard 301 redirect code. So the concluding fact is, the longer you keep them active, the better it is for your website.

With this, the discussion comes to an end. We hope that this short yet deep article have served you enough knowledge to being with 301 redirect. Being important to maintain SEO authorities while changes, it is also important for launching new website. This discussion had almost everything you required to know for getting started with the concept.

Redirct in WordPress

As WordPress is the most common way to create wbsite, in below WordPress tutorial introduces two easy ways to guide you how to redirect WordPress pages: by utilizing a plugin and by coding stuff. With the step-by-step explanation and carefully guidelines, even WordPress beginners can successfully achieve this process.

Redirect WordPress Page with a Plugin

As WordPress is flexible and offers powerful plugins to enable users to extend the website functionality, using a plugin is the easiest way to redirect visitors from one post to another. We have listed out the top rated WordPress redirection plugins in the following.

Simple 301 Redirects

Website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-301-redirects/

Simple 301 Redirections offers an easy way to redirect orders to any other page on the website. Generally, you cannot preserve your URL structure if you transfer the website to WordPress. However, this plugin can help you make it. After building up 301 redirects, visitors can go to your new page.

To use it, you simply need to click the Settings > 301 Redirects button. Here, you can enter your old page link into the Request field and the new address into the Destination field. If you want to use wildcards for the folder redirection, you simply need to put an asterisk after the name of the old folder. Note that you can delete any redirection you want by hitting the Delete button.

Simple 301 Redirects

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

Website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-pagepost-redirect-plugin/

This plugin is helpful and gives you ways to redirect pages to any other. It comes with a lot of useful features and the allowance to put a rel=”nofollow” attribute, change the defaultURL, and many other. Note that, this option does not allow the nofollow link.

This plugin gives you more options for redirection. After the installation, you firstly can click the Quick Redirects button to add the new redirects. Here, you simply need to enter the Request URL and the Destination URL, and then, click the Add New Redirects button. The existing redirects will be listed in the following. In addition, you can choose to open the new redirect in a new window and decide to enable the NoFollow functionality as you want.

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

If you want to import or export the redirection, you can go to the Import/Export section to make a simple hit only. In addition, you can check the summary of all your redirection from the Redirect Summary part. Even, from the Pages tab, you can directly check the Redirect Column from the screen.

Permalink Finder Plugin

Website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/permalink-finder/

If WordPress cannot find a permalink, this plugin can detect the problem and inform you at the very first time. It goes through teh whole database and pick out any words that seem similar to the found bad links. Then, when someone visits your website, they are taken to the right place rather than the former bad one.

Redirection

Website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/

Redirection is a very useful and practical plugin that helps to detect any 301 redirection in WordPress websites. With this tool, you don’t have to worry about this kind of problem anymore. When you move your article, posts, and pages to a new website or change the category of a post, it can lead visitors to the right place automatically.

Change Permalink Helper

Website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/change-permalink-helper/

It can be a huge trouble for bookmark users and search engines to link to your content when you have changed the structure of your website permalink. Then, this plugin tries to deal with this issue using the new URL slug and searching for its ID in WordPress database. After finding the post based on the slug, it will redirect to the right location and send the header message of “moved permanently 301” for changing the URL on the search engine index.

Safe Redirect Manager

Website: https://wordpress.org/plugins/safe-redirect-manager/

Safe Redirect Manager lives up to the name, because it works perfect from the beginning to the end with the clutter-free interface and rock-solid functionality. The rules of redirecting apply to both base URL and destination URL. Multisite can also benefit a lot from using this HTTP redirect manager for WordPress.

There is also a limitation on the number of redirects, which discourages some users who have more needs. Safe Redirect Manager will display white page when redirect links arrive at a certain number. It is said that the number could be 150.

Safe Redirect Manager

Yoast SEO Premium

Website: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

Yoast SEO Premium is known to webmasters due to the powerful features among which redirect manager is included. There are some instances when you want to delete your posts or pages. At that time, this plugin will ask you for advice on how to deal with the old URL. In this way, your website can be much healthier because visitors can be redirected to a new page with their wanted information.

If you do nothing with the old URL, your visitors will get stuck on a Not Found error. There is no doubt that visitors will have a bad using experience with your website. The premium version allows you to create redirects with ease.

Yoast SEO Premium

Quick Page / Post Redirect Plugin Instruction

To help you better understand the operation of redirection plugin, today, we just take the Quick Page / Post Redirect Plugin as example to show you the detailed utilization.

First of all, you should install and active the Quick Page / Post Redirect Plugin. Once activated, it adds a Quick Page / Post Redirect meta box to all pages / posts and add a Redirects Options in the right menu bar.

You can start to edit the post / page you want to redirect directly by configuring the Quick Page /Post Redirect box.

Quick Page / Post Redirect meta box

Turn on the redirect by selecting the checkbox on Make Redirect Active and add rel=”nofollow” to redirect link if you want. Then, enter the URL link where you want to redirect readers to. At last, choose the type of redirect, which is 302 by default. As our post / page is permanently moved to a new one, we choose 301 permanent redirect.

In addition to editing single page / post, you can also set redirect for multiple URLs by hand. Go to Redirect Options -> Quick Redirects, you can set redirects for various links. To add these additional 301 redirects, put the URL you want to redirect into the Request field and the place it should redirect to in the Destination field. Note that the Request field should be relative to the ROOT directory and contain the / in the beginning, and the Destination field can be any valid URL or relative path from root directory.

redirect multiple links

Moreover, you can customize the entire redirect options from Redirect Options -> Redirect Options. You can import or export your redirects, determine whether use Custom Post Types, hide meta box for specific posts, use jQuery, and so on. As well, you can configure the Override Redirect Options to turn off all redirects or redirect all links to one link, and so on.

redirect options and settings

Redirect WordPress Page using .htaccess Override

However, some webmasters do not like to use a plugin but prefer to manage the process by hand. Especially some people think that too many plugins many slow down the website speed and consume server storage. So, in the following, we also introduce another method to redirect WordPress page with code.

First, log into your server and find the .htaccess file in the root directory. Note that there may be other .htaccess files in the other folders, so make sure you find the right one in the root folder.

find .htaccess file

Just select the file, right-click on it, and you can see a series of options, just click on Edit to start to redirect. Then, you can see the following codes, but note that don’t mess any of the existing code in this file. We suggest you to add a blank line after RewriteEngine On but before IfModule to do the 301 redirect.

edit htaccess file

Actually, it is simple to do 301 redirects with code. You can easily add the following Rewrite Rule in the new blank line.

RewriteRule ^old-slug$ http://yourdomain.com/new-slug [L,R=301]   

Only note that you should change the old-slug to the slug of the post / page that you are trying to redirect. Besides, the slug is not the entire URL, but only the relative URL of your homepage. For example, if your homepage relies on www.yourdomain.com, and the article we are handling with is at www.yourdomain.com/old-post-slug, then the slug is old-post-slug.

As well, you should replace the url yourdomain.com/new-slug with your new post link. Don’t do any changes on [L,R=301].

At last, be sure to save these changes in the file. You can test the redirection by entering the old URL in the browser. If it brings you to the new URL automatically, you completely finish the process. Otherwise, you should check out for your operations.

How to Fix Too Many Redirects Error in WordPress

Have you ever been irritated by various common WordPress errors like Internal Server Error, Error Establishing a Database, White Screen of Death, and so on? Among those issues, the “Too Many Redirects” error is selected in the following guide to brief you on several valid solutions for this error as well as show you the reasons that result in such embarrassing situation.

If you are the one who suffers a lot of the Too Many Redirects error, you just need to refer to the given methods and then deal with the issue without striking a blowing. Since many readers lack understanding of such WordPress error, we would like to make a brief introduction about it at first.

What Is Too Many Redirects Error & Why You Get This Error?

Too Many Redirects error, also called error 310, is a common WordPress error caused by the improper use of URL redirects as its name suggests. Since WordPress enables URL redirection function for all users to create SEO-friendly URL structure, many webmasters tend to make use of this function to redirect the old URL to a new one by means of a redirect plugin.

Note that, one old URL must be redirected to a unique location. If not, the Too Many Redirects error happens to you naturally. That is to say, if you redirect an old post to two locations, your visitors cannot access to the redirected page and what comes to them is like the following screenshot or a 404 not found page.

too many redirects error screenshot

In some cases, one of the main reasons that results in such issue is the misconfiguration of an active redirection plugin, which has your visitors caught in a dilemma and increases the bounce rate as well. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide makes it easy to solve Too Many Redirects error.

Common Reasons for the Too Many Redirects Issue

Surely, there are a lot of reasons that may result in this error, and we have listed the most common ones in the following.

  • You have entered the incorrect and different Home URL and Site URL.
  • Some of your plugins might come with the wrong configurations and redirect your pages in the wrong way.
  • There are some improper changes made on your .htaccess file.
  • There are multiple websites or networks hosted on a single IP address.
  • Your site uses the same URL as that of a delete one.

After learning the causes, now, you can check some methods for addressing this issue from the below parts.

How to Fix Too Many Redirects Error?

Before everything, you are required to log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Settings > General to check if there is something wrong with the WordPress Address or Site Address.

general setting page

In some cases, there is no difference between adding a www prefix to the URL and not doing so. That is to say, it leaves to your option. However, if your web host has limited your choice and only allows you to select one way to go, then you need to ensure that you set your URL address by the rule. If not, that will become the main cause to the Too Many Redirects error.

If everything goes well and there is no change after resetting the URL address, you need to refer to the following solutions. Perhaps, contacting your WordPress hosting provider to ask for help is also a good option for you.

Here, we are going to show you three methods to fix Too Many Redirects error effectively, which require you to add lines of command to wp-login.php file, wp-config.php file and PHPMyAdmin.

Modify wp-login.php File

Open your wp-login.php file after connecting your website with an FTP client. Since we create and manage our website by means of cPanel, we will complete all processes via this powerful control panel. Log into cPanel and target Files > File Manager. In general, the root access of wp-login.php should be /public_html/wp-login.php. If you install WordPress on a subdomain, then the root access should be /public_html/subdomain/wp-login.php.

Seek the wp-login.php file from a list of items and right click it to “Edit” it in an editor. And then, add the following command to this file and replace the yourwebsite.com to your own website domain. Finally, “Save” the file to confirm all settings.

//FIXME: do comment/remove these hack lines. (once the database is updated)   update_option(‘siteurl’, ‘http://yourwebsite.com/the/path’ );   update_option(‘home’, ‘http://yourwebsite.com/the/path’ );  

Keep in mind that since you have successfully fixed the Too Many Redirects error, you need to remove the command mentioned above from wp-login.file.

Modify wp-config.php File

The second method to solve Too Many Redirects issue is making a change to your wp-config.php file which is regarded as the core file in WordPress. Open this file in an editor by complying with the way to open the wp-login.php in cPanel. Likewise, the root access of wp-config.php should be /public_html/wp-config.php or /public_html/subdomain/wp-config.php.

And then, add the following lines to this file. You are required to replace yourwebsite.com to your site domain. “Save” the file to bring the command into effect. Note that, once the following lines come into force, you cannot make any change to the address URL via your WordPress dashboard > General > Settings.

define(‘WP_HOME’,’http://yourwebsite.com’);   define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’http://yourwebsite.com’);  

Make Use of PHPMyAdmin

Making a change to your database is also regarded as a valid solution for Too Many Redirects error. Perhaps, you can reach the target by using PHPMyAdmin that is a great tool for the administration of MySQL database. Here, we would like to proceed to the following process via cPanel. Log into cPanel and go to Databases > phpMyAdmin.

When you have successfully accessed to the PHPMyAdmin interface, you need to add the given command to SQL tab and then replace the yourwebsite.com to your own site information.

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'http://yourwebsite.com' WHERE option_name IN ('home', 'siteurl');  

If You are Using a URL Redirect Plugin

Since all methods mentioned above cannot do anything for you, then you should check if there is something wrong with your plugin especially for the URL redirect plugin that are activated on your website. Here, we would like to take the Redirection plugin as an example, which enables you to create URL redirect in a simple manner.

redirect plugin add new redirection

If you have redirected the URL http://www.yourwebsite.com /1 to another URL http://www.yourwebsite.com/2, and then you redirect the second URL to the first one since you have forgotten about the previous redirect. In this way, the Too Many Redirects error occurs to your website naturally and the page should be like the following screenshot if someone visits one of the URLs.

cause too many redirects error

In this situation, you should delete one of the redirects immediately and check if there are some similar mistakes happening on your website.

If you are using multiple plugins on your website and cannot make certain which plugin goes wrong, you should deactivate all plugins and update them all at once. And then, activate those plugin one by one. Each time you do that, you need to browse your website to check if there is a Too Many Redirects error. We hope that such a strict method can help you troubleshoot the root of the problem as soon as possible.

If you can access your website admin, this method can be done easily just via the Plugins section. However, if the admin panel is inaccessible, you should remove the faulty plugins using your FTP client. Here, we have listed the simple steps in the following.

  • Open your FTP and start the connection with the root folder of your WordPress site.
  • Move to the wp-content/plugins/ folder.
  • Rename it or directly delete the whole folder. This can cause the removal of all the plugin installation.

Restore Your .htaccess File

In some cases, the redirection issue might occur after you make some changes to the .htaccess file. Due to this, you’d better check this file to figure out whether your updated settings are something wrong. If you cannot spot any mistake, you can restore this file to the default value by following the below steps.

  • Copy and backup the .htaccess file firstly.
  • Delete the current version.
  • Log into the WordPress dashboard and click Settings > Permalinks.
  • Click the Save Settings button to have a new .htaccess file generated automatically.

Now, you can check whether the redirection error happens again on your site. If not, you can add the changes made on the .htaccess file one by one until you find the culprit.

Clear all Your Current Cookies and Cache

Sometimes, you may have already fixed this issue after carrying out the above-mentioned practices. However, the changes will come into effect only when you clean up all the cache and cookies. After all, to have your site loaded quickly, there will be a static website copy saved by your browser or your WordPress cache plugin temporarily. In this case, any new change or update may fail to be reflected until these copies are removed, indicating that your site is under a new copy now.

Clear Cache

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