A Redirect quite simply is when you reroute one webpage to another. This guide will show you how to redirect a URL using various methods.
Why would you Use a Redirect?
This is frequently done when a website owner changes domains.
It’s also done when a 404 page appears when someone clicks on a broken link. This happens when you change the URL slug (the words after the domain and slash such as mywebsite.com/this-is-the-slug).
It’s very useful when you realize that you have created 2 pieces of similar content and only need one to appear on the search engines.
The Redirect sends instructions to the internet that basically says, When someone clicks on THIS link, send them to THIS page instead.
It doesn’t delete the old page or content and this is a great way to prevent broken links (404′) on your website. Always use a redirect instead of deleting.
redirect OR rel=canonical?
We use a rel=canonical attribute when we want to leave both pieces of content visible, yet tell the search engines which one we prefer they rank on the search engine results page when someone performs a search query that matches our content.
If you are seeing 404 errors in your webmaster tools or seo tools, it means you have links on the internet that are leading to broken “dead” pages.
You will want to create a redirect from the old URL to a new URL.“A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.” – Moz.com
Types of Redirects:
Although there are others, the most common are:
A 301 redirect is your permanent redirect option. This is the preferred type of redirect and the best for seo in that the ranking values transfer to the new page.
A 302 direct is a temporary option.
None of the ranking power of the original page will carry over to the new page.
This is really not a great option.
Rarely used, this is sometimes seen on an e-commerce (shopping site) website when a product sells out and the website owner wants to send them to a similar product possibly, yet only until they restock.
This way, the redirect indicates that the seo “juice” should stay with the original link and not transfer since the original link will be put back in play.
How To do a redirect
If you are using WordPress, this is pretty easy when you choose one of the many Plugins offered in your “Add a New Plugin” dashboard. Or you can see several doing a simple Google Search for Redirect Plugins.