What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is an important tool for website creators and SEOs, they are used to maintain the performance of a website by providing search engines and users with the latest and most relevant version of a website in the event that the websites location has changed or been updated.
You may have heard the term 301 redirect, or noticed one in action, but what exactly is a 301 redirect? Think of it like setting up a forwarding mail address when you move house. In the same way a 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another, as opposed to a temporary (302) redirect. You will have likely spotted one when you type in one URL, but the address in the browser is different than the one you searched for.
301 redirects automatically send site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine results page. These redirects also link various URLs under one umbrella so search engines rank all of the addresses based on the domain authority from inbound links. 301 redirects are generally preferable for Search Engine Optimization purposes and are therefore often referred to as search engine friendly redirects.
Here are some scenarios where we would set up a 301 redirect:
- Moving to a new domain (see storagetruro.co.uk > storagetruro.com example), possibly if to rebrand a company with a new name or URL
- Cleaning up dynamic URLs and redirecting them to shorter search engine friendly versions
- Preventing duplicate content problems caused by www and non-www versions of your pages (Try going to www.netgems.co.uk, you will notice the url automatically change to netgems.co.uk)
- To direct traffic to a website from other URLs owned by the same organization.