SEO experts use 301 redirects regularly. However, they have to be cautious while using this useful protocol, because it can fix the broken links but, also create loops that can impact search engine index-ability. Nonetheless, you will need to use them in certain scenarios, so understand how to configure 301 redirects properly to take advantage of its feature.
There are multiple HTTP status codes, for example, 500 HTTP signifies server error, 200 status codes indicate successful request, and 404 specifies the demanded resource is not available.
So, what are the 301 status codes?
It states that the post or page has been moved to another destination and redirects it to that new link. You can say, it is like migrating from page A to page B. The 301 redirect WordPress plugin is designed to help the SEO process.
Reasons 301 is crucial for SEO
User experience is a crucial algorithm that the search engines consider, so they usually red flag resources on search results with error codes. Missing resource is a frustrating experience for the users too. It is not desirable for webmaster to get 404 error page in the search results.
Nonetheless, the crawler locates new relevant resources and transports them to the indexer, which in turn indexes the webpage. After indexing, the ranking process starts, and results are displayed. Your webpages get crawled and re-crawled now and then. It is done to find out any changes made to the web pages or posts.
A webpage can vanish in two scenarios – The page was deleted, or the server experienced and issue. Google will identify this vanished page, and will not be pleased with the 404 error page. Eventually, the 404 pages will be removed from the index. If such problems occurs repeatedly, then your website will be perceived as less reliable, as it feels that crawlers are wasting their time.
The 404 errors do not impact search engines but your website, business, and revenue. You lose potential customers if they land on a 404 error page. On the other hand, by using a 301 redirect tool, your link equity can be transferred to your new domain or page. Your page authority does not get lost!
When to apply WP 301 redirects?
Form the above explanation, it does not mean that Google adores 301 redirects, and so you start redirecting everything. You will need to use 301 codes cautiously. If things get messed up due to any reasons, you will experience negative outcomes.
- Right after launching a new website redirect every domain to the preferred version.
- When you move your whole website to HTTPS. Be very careful!
- Check for broken links pointing from outside and even handle the internal broken links. Instead of creating 301 redirects change the links directly.
- Delete the useless content but apply redirects to your good and relevant webpage or post.
- URL of the specific resource must not be changed, but if you really have to modify it, create 301 redirects from old URL to destination URL.
- Renovation of your website means rewritten content, deleted pages, and moved posts. Big changes in your website can negatively affect your website, but if you redirect those images, posts, or files towards a most relevant resource, you can improve the page performance.
- If your pages are loading slow because of big image sizes, then you can also resize images online and use the redirects option to send visitors to a more user friendly web page.
WP 301 redirects are beneficial for SEO!