The world of SEO can be a confusing place, filled with technical jargon and seemingly endless strategies for boosting your search engine rankings. But fear not. We’re here to help demystify one of the most important concepts in the world of SEO: 301 redirects.
First things first, what is a 301 redirect? Simply put, a 301 redirect is a way to permanently redirect one URL to another. This is useful in a number of different scenarios, such as when you want to migrate your website to a new domain, or when you want to consolidate multiple pages on your site into one.
A real-world example of a 301 redirect
Let me give you an example from the real world: if you're a pizza lover like us, you know that sometimes the perfect slice can be hard to find. You may have to try a few different places before you find the one that hits the spot.
Let’s say that you found your perfect pizza at ‘Papa’s Pizza Place’, but Papa has retired and his son Mike is taking over the business, which – surprise, surprise – he’s renaming as ‘Mike’s Pizza Place’. Mike has moved his restaurant to a new, better location with its new name. And, now, you can’t find it! Leaving you hungry and disappointed. That’s where the 301 redirect comes in. A 301 redirect is like a moving notice, telling you that your favorite pizza is still waiting for you, and conveniently pointing you to the new location!
The same goes for your website. You may have to try a few different URLs before you find the one that really resonates with your audience. But what happens to all those old URLs that you've tried and abandoned? Enter the 301 redirect. It will take your website visitors from the old, stale URL to the fresh, new one that you've chosen. And that’s a slice of good news for your business!
301 Redirects make sure your visitor isn’t left empty-handed
Why is this important for SEO? Well, imagine you have an old page on your website that’s getting a lot of traffic and backlinks. If you simply delete that page and replace it with a new one, all of that hard-earned traffic and link juice will be lost. By using a 301 redirect, you can send search engines a moving notice that the old page has been permanently moved to a new location. They’ll then pass all of that traffic and link juice on to the new page. This can help maintain - or even improve - your search engine rankings. Why do you get this bonus from search engines? Simple: making sure your visitors get the best available information is core business for the likes of Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo and other search engines. They only benefit from visitors who find what they’re looking for. If search engines provide links that lead to 404 pages, this reflects badly on them.
301 permanent redirect or 302 temporary redirect?
But what about other types of redirects? You may have heard of 302 redirects, which are similar to 301 redirects, but are intended to be temporary. While a 301 redirect indicates to search engines that a page has been permanently moved, a 302 redirect tells search engines that the move is only temporary. This can be useful in some situations, but it’s generally better to use a 301 redirect whenever possible, as it offers the most benefits for your SEO efforts.
Challenges of implementing a 301 redirect
So, how do you implement a 301 redirect? Classically, 301 redirects are no walk in the park: First, there's the task of figuring out which URLs need to be redirected and where they should be redirected to. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if your website is on the larger side, or has a complex structure. And let's not forget the added headache of making sure you don't accidentally redirect any important pages that need to stay put (you know, the ones that actually drive traffic and make you money).
Unfortunately, we cannot automatically determine which URLs need to be redirected and where they should be redirected to; this is something you need to decide yourself. But once you've figured out the old and the new URLs, it's time to import your work into redirect.pizza and actually create the redirects. This used to involve diving into the depths of your server-side language and writing some code that would make the redirect happen. If you're not a technical wizard, this can be a daunting task, especially when redirecting multiple obsolete domains to one shiny and new domain. And, even if you are a wizard, it's still a tedious process that requires careful attention to detail. Because, let's be honest, nobody likes a broken website.
Finally, there's the task of testing the redirect to make sure it's working properly. This involves checking the redirect on different browsers, devices and even locations, to ensure that it's redirecting users to the correct new URL without any hiccups. This is a time-consuming process, to say the least.
Easy and hassle-free 301 redirects
What if we told you that we’ve been there, and got the T-shirt for you? We actually came to the conclusion – quite quickly - that existing plugins just weren’t good enough. That’s precisely why we invented our redirect.pizza Redirection tool. At first, we just made it for ourselves. But then we decided it was too good not to share.
Our redirection tool has none of the hassle, but all of the technical goodies:
- Automatic HTTPS
- Path forwarding
- Query parameter forwarding
- Email forwarding
And here’s the best news you’ll get today: it’s completely free for most common users! For heavier users, we have several pricing tiers, to suit your appetite. And you can rest assured that all of our subscriptions will still save you both time and money!
Besides being easy and hassle-free, our service is also FAST! With 21 POP servers spread across the globe, you’ll always have the best possible redirecting speed available. This global presence means we can provide high availability and process your redirects in the blink of an eye!
What are you waiting for?
Pizza gets cold fast. And it’s best served hot. And, as always, there’s no time like the present. So, get started and create your first, free 301 Redirect. We promise you won’t regret it.