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If you own a website and are taking care of its SEO, you would know how difficult it is to build domain authority.

Maintaining a decent position in the search engine rankings takes a lot of effort, time, and planning. 

Unfortunately, some changes in the website can ruin all the hard work and cause the rank to drop. 

In instances of a change of URL and site revamp, 301 redirects in SEO can preserve the value of your site.

In this blog, we will discuss 301 redirects in SEO, and whether or not they damage SEO.

Related Blog: Find & Solve Canonical Issues For Better SEO

What Are 301 Redirects In SEO?

A post explaining the meaning of 301 redirects in seoBeing familiar with the frequently used redirects is a step toward learning the SEO basics. So, let’s quickly go through the meaning of 301 redirects SEO.

Permanent redirects are what SEO refers to as 301 redirects. When a page is redirected, search engines update their indexing to reflect the new URL.

To function correctly, a 301 redirect must have a return status code of 301 when verified in the server header. If it doesn’t, it may be categorized as a 302 redirect, which is a common temporary redirect.

People often use 301 redirects in SEO to ensure that they maintain the search engine rankings of a certain page when the URL changes.

The new URL also inherits any links and SEO values that were previously associated with the old one.

Importance of 301 Redirects in SEO

Here are the reasons why redirects in SEO are important:

1. For Visitors Reaching “404 Not Found” Pages

Users trying to access the previous URL may get the dreaded ‘404 Not Found’ error when a webpage is relocated or destroyed without using a redirect.

It’s a terrible experience that may make visitors think poorly of your website and turn them away even if you have a stunning website design.

301 redirects in SEO ensure a smooth transition from the old URL to the new one, so users who try to access the old URL do not encounter a dead end and have a great experience.

Furthermore, 404 Not Found issues might lower your website’s search engine rankings. 

Search engines like Google see these mistakes as an indication of careless website management, and as a result, they may penalize your website.

By implementing 301 redirects in SEO, you can maintain any current search engine ranks. Also, 301 redirects in SEO ensure that your website maintains its good position by informing search engines that the webpage has relocated permanently.

2. Offer a Good Experience Consistently

Positive browsing experiences are mostly dependent on consistency and accessibility.

Users lose faith in your website when they encounter broken links or out-of-date URLs, which interrupt their surfing experience.

301 redirects in SEO are crucial for preserving a seamless surfing experience since they help consumers move from outdated URLs to their new locations with ease.

Furthermore, by proactively managing redirection, you show users that you appreciate their time and work hard to give them a hassle-free browsing experience.

3. Encourage Visitors to Stay on Your Website

Users are more likely to browse your website further if they are redirected to relevant, current content from removed or outdated web pages.

301 redirects in SEO give alternative options to maintain their engagement with the site rather than being directed to a dead end and abandoning it.

By strategically using 301 redirects in SEO, you can also route people down preferred pathways inside your website, directing them to high-value pages or conversion opportunities.

301 Redirects in SEO: When You Should Use These Redirects 

An infographic on when to use 301 redirects in SEOHere are the situations where you should use 301 redirects in SEO:

1. Following Website Relocation to a Different Domain

Use 301 redirects in SEO when transferring your website to a new domain. This is to ensure that all of the previous links to your website are still active and that search engines are aware of the current location of your website.

301 redirects can work to enhance the SEO of your site. This is due to the fact that they have the ability to reroute visitors from outdated pages to more recent ones, which may aid in boosting traffic to your website.

Furthermore, 301 redirects can assist in guaranteeing that every link referring to your website is directing visitors to the appropriate sites. 

This can help increase the popularity of links to your website, a factor search engines use to determine how highly to rank your website.

2. When There is Identical or Copied Content

Some of your website’s pages can be identical to one another. In SEO, you can call it duplicate content. 

This type of error is one that you need to be extremely cautious about, as it may occur unintentionally. 

Having two comparable pages on the same website does not offer customers any additional value; Google is severe about pages that contain similar content.

You can employ 301 redirects in SEO between pages A and B that contain similar material to prevent any penalties from Google, which may view your duplicate content as a Black Hat approach. 

Give priority to rerouting visitors to the page with the best search engine optimization.

To learn about the performance of your site, read our guide to comprehend Average Position in Google Search Console.

3. When Getting Backlinks

It is normal to encounter websites with backlinks directing to 404 pages. Sadly, a backlink pointing to a 404 represents a missed opportunity to raise your website’s SEO and authority. 

You can take advantage of this page’s backlink authority and gain SEO power by redirecting it to an active page on your website via 301 redirects in SEO.

Ahrefs and other SEO tools can assist you in identifying all backlinks pointing to 404 pages on your website. 

Learn More: How to Get Top Backlinks for Your Website

4. Organizing Non-Functional Pages

Non-functional pages annoy users and give the impression that your website is not worth their time.

Ideally, you should take down the pages and the links that the users may find futile. 

To permanently divert the traffic the page would otherwise receive to another page, use  301 redirects in SEO if you wish to maintain the page’s link equity.

Using 301 redirects in SEO is a good practice. It is better than completely removing a page if there is a nearly identical page on your website. If there is another page that would make sense to send people to, you can use them. This will also organize your pages.

5. Reduce Chances of Keyword Cannibalization

When you have many pages ranking for the same term or phrase, this is known as keyword cannibalization. 

It’s problematic because it wastes time and occasionally directly undermines your efforts to rank well. 

Nevertheless, if you install a 301 redirect and integrate those pages in any way, you’ll stack their ranking strength and influence rather than having them compete. 

6. Migration from HTTP to HTTPS

301 redirects in SEO are essential for moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS. It is highly advised to migrate to the HTTPS protocol, which stands for a secure version if your website is still using the HTTP protocol. 

Everyone should think about switching to HTTPS because of these three reasons:

Security: It guards the confidentiality and integrity of information sent between the user, the website, and the browser.

SEO: In 2014, Google officially said it prefers websites that use the HTTPS protocol, which raises the site’s SERP rankings.

Building Credibility: An HTTPS website conveys to users that it is secure, which can increase users’ confidence in your website.

301 redirects in SEO are required to move your website from one version to another correctly. 

They permanently reroute visitors and search engines to your new HTTPS secure URLs from your old ones.

Do 301 Redirects Hurt SEO?

An answer post to "do 301 redirects hurt seo"Now, it’s time to discuss the popular question, “do 301 redirects hurt seo?”

Yes, 301 redirects can harm SEO if you don’t handle them properly. Problems with redirect chains, loops, and pointless redirects can have a detrimental effect on search engine rankings and user experience. 

Here are the things that can make 301 redirects in SEO hurt your rankings:

1. Forwarding Redirects to Your Homepage

It is not recommended to send all 301 redirects back to your homepage. People frequently believe they can just send any 301 redirects to their site.

Your rankings and traffic will suffer due to the enormous 404 errors that will arise from this. 

When doing a large-scale redirection, the URLs that were redirected would be seen as 404 errors.

It is best to adopt a strategic strategy and make sure that you redirect from redirected pages to other relevant sites if you want to disseminate value from redirected pages to other pages.

2. Redirect Chains 

Redirect chains may result in crawl delays. For instance, during a crawl, Google makes about five redirect hops. 

Google will cease the crawl to save energy after the hops. This will adversely affect your crawl budget and could possibly cause indexing problems.

They also delay page loading. Redirects typically result in slower page loads for search engines and people. 

As a consequence, businesses lose a big portion of their crawl budget. When this occurs, a search engine must request a fresh, extra URL to fulfill its requirement to request numerous URLs. 

Googlebot finds it more difficult to crawl other pages when it needs to wait.

Redirect chains also have the major drawback of potentially losing link equity. 

This implies that adding a single hop during the redirection process will reduce the quantity of page authority travelling to a page.

3. Infinite Redirect Loops

A redirect loop is far worse than a redirect chain since it makes Google scan the same redirect loop repeatedly.

URL on one of those pages attempts to reroute visitors to the original page, triggering a redirect loop. 

That can occur when someone creates a redirect without paying attention or when a redirect has a mistake.

We don’t find redirect loops very often. However, if you do, it can mean that your server configuration isn’t working properly, which requires further research.

Right Ways To Incorporate 301 Redirects For SEO

It’s important to take care while creating a 301 redirect in SEO to avoid losing the value of your pages. 

The following three quick techniques will assist you in properly creating redirects:

1. Find Out How to Add Redirects

Using 301 redirects in SEO is a process that will differ depending on where your website is hosted. 

Find out how to redirect pages on your website’s hosting platform before making any modifications.

Every platform for websites is unique. For example, WordPress allows you to construct your own redirects using a plugin. 

For others, it may be necessary to apply the redirection straight to the server.

Before making any modifications, you should comprehensively investigate your platform. 

2. Select Redirect Before Creating a Page 

Make the redirect first, then begin moving and redirecting content. A common error businesses make is moving their content to new pages before setting up a redirect. 

They consequently experience traffic loss and SEO damage.

Before moving your content to the new URL, create a redirect to make sure you don’t make this error. 

It makes sure that nothing is lost in the process and that all the value is transferred to the new page.

Learn More: How to Fix Page with Redirect in Google Search Console In 7 Steps

3. Align the Structure of Your Pages 

Organize your page structure first to ensure your permanent redirects are implemented effectively. Make sure your previous URLs are redirected to the appropriate pages. For example, a page about painting shouldn’t lead to a page about dyeing.

To keep visitors on your website, it’s important to plan your redirects and organize your page layout.


For how long should I leave 301 redirects in SEO in place?

Keeping a 301 redirect in place for as long as possible is key. At the very least, you can maintain it live for a year to give search engines time to index the update and people time to refresh their bookmarks.

What distinguishes 302 redirects from 301 redirects?

301 Redirect: It gives the new URL almost all its SEO value.

302 Redirect: This is a brief redirection. It doesn’t provide the new URL with any SEO value because search engines believe the old URL will return.

How do backlinks and 301 redirects interact?

301 redirects move backlinks’ link equity and SEO worth from the old URL to the new one, keeping the backlinks leading to your website’s SEO advantages unaffected.

Are there any substitutes for 301 redirects in SEO?

Yes, you have three options: 302 Redirect, Meta Refresh, a technique that uses a meta element in the HTML header to redirect, and Canonical Tags. By indicating the preferred URL via Canonical tags, you can avoid problems with duplicate content.

In Conclusion

The 301 redirects in SEO are important to maintain the engagement and rank of your site.

You need to audit the redirects to ensure that you don’t lose anything when implementing changes to your website.

If you want to lose traffic or hurt your SEO, The Dreams Agency can resolve all your website-related problems at once.