What is a 301 redirect?
Last modified: February 23, 2020
A 301 redirect is when a website owner permanently redirects from one URL to another. This sends any requests from humans, bots and search engine index spiders to another URL that is different to the one originally requested. This works whether the user manually typed in the URL into the browser, was sent there through a link on another website or clicked on it on a search engine.
The domain names that are affected do not have to be vastly different. For instance, you could have a 301 redirect for http://blog.example.com go to https://blog.example.com. The different between the two is very little (just it uses SSL), but it is important.
Why Are 301 Redirects Important To Implement?
There are numerous reasons why you might want to instigate a 301 redirect for your brand. These include:
The first is when you’ve had a rebranding but visitors or existing customers haven’t noticed yet. This strategy allows you to use an old domain like old-domain.com to redirect to the new domain (new-domain.com).
Redirect From Unused Domain Extensions
If you have several domains but one website, you can use 301 redirects from visitors making simple mistakes like using the .com extension instead of the .biz or .org. This is a common mistake across the world.
Some brands also buy similar names (or domains with particular brand language) and can use 301 redirects to move traffic to the main site while owning the other domains.
Improve Domain Authority
Another common advantage of the 301 redirect is to improve the domain authority of your website. It can also help in content migration, and enables your audiences (plus search engines) to find your website faster.
Quickly Fix Mistakes
If you send out an email campaign with a wrong link, a 301 redirect can be quickly used to direct visitors to the correct page. This can also be used when a link has been incorrectly added to marketing materials, a blog post or another website that you can’t easily change.
301 Redirects can often be implemented through the use of SEO plugins or dedicated plugins. The function is not a standard WordPress function and is not often included in themes, even premium themes.
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