Redirects are used to signal the URL for a page has changed. These should be used carefully as redirects can influence page rank.
If you need to change the URL of a page as it’s shown in search engine results, we recommend that you use a server-side 301 redirect … The 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location.
Avoid temporary redirects
Prefer permanent redirects (status 301) over temporary redirects (usually status 302 and 307). A permanent redirect from one URL to another indicates the original URL has changed for good. This causes search engines to update their URLs while passing link equity from the old URL to the new URL. Temporary redirects indicate a page has only moved temporarily so search engines won’t update their links or pass on link equity to the new URL. When moving a page with many backlinks, it’s extra important to use permanent redirects so the search rank of the page is maintained.
Avoid meta redirects
Avoid the use of meta tags for performing redirects and prefer server-side redirects instead. Meta tag redirects are performed using a special kind of HTML tag that instructs browsers to load a new URL. For example, the tag
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;http://example.com/destination"> tells the browser to wait 5 seconds then go to the specified URL. Meta tag redirect are discouraged because some crawlers will ignore them, they break the browser “back” button and it can be confusing for users to see one page load followed quickly by another. Google and W3C strongly recommend the use of server redirects over meta tag redirects to avoid these issues.
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➜ This article is from our comprehensive SEO Best Practices guide.
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