6 Redirect Mistakes That Can Wreak Havoc on Your Site’s Traffic

Redirects are a pure a part of a web site’s evolution.

You can create a service web page or weblog put up that’s related at the moment. But there could come a time sooner or later when it now not is sensible to maintain it dwell.

So, what do you do? Redirect it to an analogous web page on your web site.

If you’re migrating a web site or altering the construction of your web site, you possibly can have dozens of redirects in place.

Wait. What Is a Redirect?

A redirect is a option to ahead one URL to a different. For instance, let’s assume that you simply promote widgets and have a number of pages:

  • instance.com/merchandise/widgets
  • instance.com/merchandise/blue-widgets
  • instance.com/merchandise/white-widgets

If you’re now not promoting simply blue or white widgets otherwise you need to mix all the pages into one, you may redirect your blue and white widget pages to your essential widgets web page.


Continue Reading Below

This helps maintain your web site organized, requiring fewer clicks to land on a web page, and means that you can focus your entire optimization efforts on one web page as an alternative of many.

You can select to make use of a variety of sorts of redirects – 301, 302, 307, 308 – and you can also make a redirect utilizing a meta refresh, JavaScript, HTTP headers, and others.

To be taught extra in regards to the various kinds of redirects, try Technical SEO Guide to Redirects.

6 Redirect Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Site’s Traffic

Each sort of redirect or methodology used to redirect may be helpful on your web site’s site visitors and website positioning — or it may trigger site visitors and rankings to drop.

This is a kind of areas the place even a easy mistake can have main penalties on your web site’s site visitors.

Make positive you keep away from these redirect errors and be careful for them when you’re experiencing a traffic drop.

1. Redirecting Everything to Your Homepage

Mass Redirects to Homepage

If you’re redirecting each web page to your homepage in an effort to rank for aggressive phrases, chances are you’ll be doing extra hurt than good. Google’s John Mueller talked about this a couple of years in the past:


Continue Reading Below

“Redirecting all the things to simply the homepage is a very dangerous follow as a result of we lose all the indicators which might be related to the previous content material.”

He explains that when a variety of pages are redirecting to your homepage, it’s a crimson flag for search crawlers.

What can occur?

Google is not going to see all these optimistic indicators you had constructed up on the previous URLs. The worth of that content material is misplaced.

2. Redirect Loops That Never End

Redirect loops.Redirect loops

A redirect loop can simply be prevented by having each new redirect examined. These loops happen whenever you redirect pages like this:

Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3 > Page 1

In this case, the redirect will proceed bringing the particular person again to web page 1 and can probably be halted by your browser, which acknowledges the loop. From a search crawler perspective, you’ll probably have the pages deindexed as a result of the crawler has no concept what’s going on.

If these pages are the primary lead pages or generate a variety of site visitors on your web site, you’ll lose a variety of income within the course of.

3. Sending Crawlers Through Redirect Chain Nightmares

Redirect chains.Redirect chains

Do you need to decrease the user’s experience and impression your web site’s rankings? Create redirect chains. These occur quite a bit, and you probably have a number of individuals working on your web site, they’re fairly straightforward to create.


Continue Reading Below


Multiple redirects happen in a sequence.

For instance:

  • /about is redirected to /aboutus
  • /aboutus is redirected to /ourcompany
  • /ourcompany is redirected to /aboutourcompany

You need to create a single redirect from /about to /aboutourcompany to keep away from a redirect chain that may:

  • Slow web site speeds.
  • Increase bounce charge.

Tip: If you go all the way down to tip 6, you’ll discover a sure-fire option to keep away from these redirect chain nightmares.

4. Forgetting That Case Sensitivity Matters

Case sensitivity issues when writing your redirect guidelines.

Thankfully, John Mueller tweeted “URLs are case-sensitive, however choose no matter case you need.”


Continue Reading Below

You can have “/about” or “/About” in order for you.

But if somebody sorts your URL right into a browser, they’re not prone to bear in mind what case you used or not. Most individuals will maintain the URL lowercase.

There are a variety of methods to create a redirect, however lots of people use .htaccess on Apache servers. One means to assist eradicate case-sensitive points is to make use of the “NC” parameter when utilizing RewriteRule.

For instance, you possibly can redirect the next web page with no case sensitivity utilizing:

Redirect 301 /about http://www.area.com/about-new [NC]

And if the particular person sorts “About, about, ABout” or another mixtures of instances, all of them will redirect to “about-new” with out a difficulty.

5. Using a 302 Redirect Instead of a 301 Redirect

Are you planning or already utilizing a 302 redirect? Should it’s a 301 redirect, as an alternative?


Continue Reading Below

A whole lot of web site homeowners don’t assume it issues what sort of redirect they use as a result of Page A remains to be being redirected to Page B.

But these web site homeowners are flawed.

301 Redirects are Permanent

Do you need to let serps know that the redirect is everlasting? If so, use a 301 redirect.

The website positioning worth of the unique web page or web site is stored in place, and the unique web site or web page will cease being listed.

302 Redirects are Temporary

A 302 redirect is saying “Hey Google, this web page is redirecting quickly however might be again quickly.”

You need to use these redirects whenever you’re quickly transferring, resembling whenever you’re testing out a brand new design or sending customers to a brand new web page due to a redesign going down.

You’re telling serps that the web page might be again, so it can:


Continue Reading Below

The new web page that you simply’re redirecting to will not obtain any of the hyperlink fairness of the unique web page. You’re leaving PageRank behind with a 302 redirect.

So, what must you do?

If the web page goes to be again quickly, use a 302 redirect. Otherwise, a 301 redirect is right.

If 302 redirects are stored for too lengthy, serps like Google could contemplate it truly a 301 redirect.

6. Not Keeping Track of Your Redirects

If you will have an enterprise web site, lots of or 1000’s of pages, or work with a variety of website positioning professionals, you must create protocols to trace adjustments to your web site.


You want reference factors to trace adjustments that had been made so that you could undergo your analytics and decipher which adjustments led to site visitors rising or falling.

Since redirects may be executed on the web page or server ranges, it’s important to maintain observe of them.

You may open up your .htaccess file, not see a redirect for a sure web page, and assume one shouldn’t be in place.


Continue Reading Below

Someone else on your workforce may need used JavaScript or a meta refresh on the web page, inflicting a redirect loop.

Tracking your redirects helps present and future website positioning professionals keep away from frequent redirect points that may impression your web site’s site visitors and income.

You must also put protocols in place that require all new redirects to be examined and verified to make sure that they’re working correctly.

Wrapping Up

Site redirects are a strong instrument that helps form your site visitors and can be utilized to enhance consumer expertise. As your web site grows in measurement and complexity, likelihood is, you’ll want to make use of redirects sooner or later.

Avoiding the important thing errors above will help you keep away from pricey, time-consuming points sooner or later.

More Resources:

Image Credits

In-post pictures created by creator, July 2021


Continue Reading Below

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply