This DIY tip was inspired by an issue we actually encountered during the week with one of our own redirects.
Unfortunately one of our redirects had stopped working without us realizing, for some unknown reason. The consequence being a drop in traffic, and more importantly – lost inbound link value.
So having tidied our own backyard (so to speak), I felt it timely to re-explore the concept of redirects and best practices from an SEO point of view.
So what are redirects:
There are two main types of redirect used for pointing one website address (URL) to another:
Permanent redirects are commonly used when redesigning websites and when pages have been deleted for good. The key benefit to this type of of redirect is that it transfers all of the historical data (PageRank, link popularity, etc.) to your new URL. So you don’t lose any SEO value with this type of redirect.
The 302 redirect is a temporary redirect. It commonly used to cover short term changes to websites (e.g. under construction pages when changes are being made). 302 redirects do not transfer PageRank, link popularity, or any other SEO value to URLs.
It’s important to ensure you use the right type of redirect when making changes to your website, otherwise all your SEO hard work could be easily and quickly undone.
A valuable practice, especially when you use another company to manage your website, is to keep a log of all your redirects. This allows you to check on your redirects on a regular basis. And quickly pick up the redirect issues we encountered.
Hopefully that clears up any confusion on best practice redirects. Now go and check all your current ones – and make sure you’re not missing any valuable link juice.