Sometimes navigating the internet world of coding and SEO can feel like attempting to solve a lifelong puzzle. If you own a website, you likely are familiar with HTLM coding and SEO or search engine optimization to some degree. There are so many best-practices that when attempting any of them can make you feel like your head is spinning.
One of the knowledgable-yet confusing pieces of the puzzle is 301 redirects. If you have a 301 redirect in place and need to fix it, don’t fret – it can be addressed.
Ah, what is a 301 redirect?
In essence, when someone types in a web address and it doesn’t exist, a 301 redirect, will always redirect the visitor to a different page instead of just delivering a 404-error page. A 301 redirect simply means that the page you are trying to reach doesn’t exist and you will be sent somewhere else.
What causes a 301 redirect?
There are a few possible scenarios. First, changing your web address, or URL, can cause a 301 redirect. It’s best practice to update your URL anytime you make a significant change to a website or a web page. Second, an inadvertent typo on the part of your web developer may cause the redirect, or faulty coding. And finally, if information has become outdated, writing in a 301 redirect will give visitors the correct information.
Identifying a 301 redirect
The surest sign of a 301 redirect is seeing the letters “301” somewhere in the page’s address. Additionally, if new information has been written on the website, you should notice that the address is different from the one you were trying to access.
Let’s fix it!
To begin troubleshooting, the first step is to backtrack the coding for the website. You may need to do some investigating to find the source of the redirect. After you locate the culprit, you can delete or amend the code and update any URLs.
Giving your website a tune-up
Before searching for redirects and making any changes, it’s best to make sure your SEO is up-to-date. SEO best practices can change quickly and it’s a good idea to brush up on this before and after making any website changes. Also, it’s best to check if any other coding is outdated, which can in and of itself can create problems.
Redirects, no sweat!
If you think that you need to fix a 301 redirect, it’s always best to first backtrack the code so that you can locate the source of the redirect. Then, you should delete or amend the URL, and then make sure your SEO is updated following website changes. Rest assured, you can get everything back on track – no sweat!
What are 301 redirects?
301 Redirects are status code responses which indicate that a page has permanently moved to a new location. Search engines use this code to update their records accordingly.
What causes 301 redirects?
301 Redirects can be caused by a variety of reasons. They are often the result of changing domain names, restructuring website architectures, or consolidating multiple pages into one.
What are the consequences of 301 redirects?
When 301 Redirects are improperly implemented, search engines might not be able to properly access a page. This could lead to decreased page visibility in search engine results.
How do I fix 301 redirects?
Fixing 301 Redirects usually involves revising existing redirects, checking redirect chains, and ensuring redirects are properly linked. It is important to use 301 redirects for permanent page moves to maintain website visibility.
Are there any tools for assessing 301 redirects?
There are many tools available for assessing 301 redirects. Some popular tools are the Redirect mapper and Screaming Frog. Each of these tools can provide insight into existing redirects and help identify any issues.
What is the best way to find and fix 301 redirects?
The best way to find and fix 301 redirects is to first analyze your website’s server logs or use an SEO crawling tool to detect any 404 errors, which can reveal where 301 redirects need to be implemented. Once you have identified broken links, you can use a Redirect Mapping tool to identify which URLs are redirecting to and then setup the proper 301 redirects. Additionally, you can use a monitoring tool to track and monitor redirects over time to ensure they are still functioning properly.