Is redirecting your web page a good practice? Effects on SEO.

301 redirect, how to redirect your webpage
Error pages on website are due to various reasons. These website errors can be as a result of server crash- known as 500 error, or a web page that cannot be found- known as 404 error. The presence of 404 error on a webpage makes the page loose its pagerank on SERP. This article will focus on how to handle 404 pages through redirection and the effect of redirection on SEO ranking.

What is page redirect?

A 404 page error usually occurs after a website has been reorganized. This common practise is usually done when website owners want to streamline their content. Because some content has been removed during the revamp process, internal links that previously led to that web page will have nowhere else to point to. Thus, leading to an error- 404 error (also known as broken link). 404 errors are very common and can be found in both small websites and big/well-established websites. These 404 pages have great effect on the user experience of your website as well as the SEO strategy. A way of solving this problem is through page redirect. Page redirect is the use of 301 redirect which helps to direct users to the intended page.

Does redirect affect SEO ranking?

The main reason for having a redirection is to ensure users are directed to the right page. This can be a page with an updated content or a redirect to another website. While 301 redirection ensures you do not lose your page rank, it comes with some disadvantages. Page load speed is a very important factor when dealing with SEO page rankings and having many redirected links in your website reduces the loading page speed. This in turn decreases user experience and traffic to your website. Another redirect issue that affects SEO strategy is a 301 redirection that is not well navigated. A bad redirection practice is to redirect all links to the home page. This is highly discouraged as it confuses Google and leads to a decrease in page rank. A better practice is to redirect urls to their related content. Furthermore, having a redirection chain is another 301 redirect practice that affects SEO. A redirection chain occurs when there is more than one redirect link between the initial url and the destination page. Having a redirect chain prevents google bot from crawling your website. Google bot is less likely to crawl pages with up to 4 redirect chain. All these are issues that come with 301 redirect and reasons why they should be minimized wherever possible.

When should you use a 301 redirect?

A 301 redirect should be used in the following conditions:
  1. When a page has been deleted, but you intend to send users to a related page
  2. When the permalink of a published page has been changed.
  3. When you’re changing your website URL structure e.g from http to https.
  4. When your site is moving to a new domain.

How to create a 301 redirect link?

There are several ways to perform a web page redirect. One of the methods is using a plugin. Yoast SEO plugin comes with a redirect tab that gives room for page redirect. It also points out a possible redirect when a page is deleted so as to avoid having 404 error pages! Read more on yoast redirect to get detailed explanation of 301 redirect using yoast plugin. In conclusion, while having a 301 redirection prevents broken links on webpages, having a large number of redirected urls can lead to a slow load page speed. Furthermore, the destination page should be related in order to prevent a decrease in webpage traffic. Caching tools can be used to optimize the loading speed of web pages, however, these tools are not 100 efficient. Explore MyDGTech web design services at an affordable price!
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