Is 301 Redirect A Ranking Signal?

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301 Redirect

The simple answer to the question that “is 301 redirect a ranking scale?” is yes. But to understand it, we have to dig deep. In this article, you will get essential information regarding 301 redirects, and whether it is a ranking signal or not. At first, let us understand the terms necessary to grasp the complete answer.

What is Redirecting?

As it is obvious from the word itself, it is a process of relocating a thing. In the web world, it is a process in which one site shifts from its older address to the new one. It is like diverting the call from switched-off numbers to another operating number on mobile phones. There are basically three types of redirects known as 301 redirects, 302 redirects,s and meta fresh. We will discuss 301 redirects in detail and the remaining two briefly, as they are not a part of our digital marketing discussion, and here we are mentioning them for the sake of information and understanding the concept.

302 Redirects:

In this process when you open a site and content is redirected from that address, the page will show you the signal “302 found”. This signal means that the source of the URL has been changed temporarily. This redirect is not much recommended because of its temporary pass. People may distrust the site. It should be used in some special cases when the redirect is really temporary.

Meta Refresh:

This type of redirect does not use servers, rather they work on a page level. These are slower than normal time taking of site. These redirects are not recommended for search engine optimization. These are usually time-based links, for example, if your download does not start in 10 seconds, click here. Then that link will take you to the desired location.

301 Redirect:           

301s are mostly recommended redirects. They are used when the site is relocated permanently. It can change your web experience in an incredible way. If you are going to a new web page, especially when you want to create a new structure, maybe you reorganize the site or maybe you want to replace the site with another. There are also the chances that maybe you move the domains completely or perhaps you want to use secured alternative domains. 301 redirect will permanently relocate your site. It will transfer all your traffic to the new URL you provide.

Types of 301 Redirects:

There are three ways in which you can use 301 redirects. It depends upon the area where you want to use that redirect. Whether you want to use one or all of them.

Links and Referral Sources:

In this type, you will refer to the links all over the internet. You can provide these 301s in your blogs or other site pages. Whenever someone clicks on the link, the link will bring it to the desired location without any trouble. This is an easy way to use another path.

Bookmarks:

301 redirects can be used in bookmarks also. For example, if someone has bookmarked your older page or saved your URL name somewhere, and now he wants to search it, he will type that keyword, and there you will place the 301 redirect to bring him to the right path.

Google and Other Search Engines:

Told by a PhD dissertation help firm, this is the most widely used type. Google has changed its policy that may affect the ranking of the page. The question is “how can we use 301 redirect using google and search engines?” Let us take an example that someone is searching your page using an old URL, if you do not redirect the page, the user will see the HTTP ERROR 404. This means that the web server cannot find the file or script you asked for.

You will be requested to check the path again, and it doesn’t seem like a good user experience. Instead, if you redirect it using 301, the server will automatically detect your request and locate the user to a new URL. This is great because it will get the user to the right spot. Moreover, it will indicate to Google that the old URL has been changed. Even now, as per the announcement of Mueller, google will no longer need the assistance of 301 redirects for relocation of sites.

Meuller Announcement:

On the 4th of June, Google’s John Mueller mentioned that it may possibly in some cases that google may forward the ranking signals from the old URL to a new one without using a 301 redirect. He said that it may be difficult to relocate without 301 because there will be no mentions of a specific time. It is even more complex when a problem occurs due to different factors.

It is possible if the old content is not deleted permanently. Moreover, if the content has been changing in a new URL, google probably would not redirect it. Google treats the older and new URLs together and tries to pick a URL that will follow all the rules. With the help of those two URLs and along with this new URL, Google will transfer the ranking signals also. Mueller stated that you may not see a ranking change in your site despite the change in location.

Is 301 Redirect A Ranking Signal Anymore or Not?

The effect of Mueller announcement on 301 redirects is not very huge. Apparently, it seems that now 301 is not ranking signals anymore because google does not need it anymore. But this is not true because the precise relocation of the ranking signals is not possible yet. And you may not risk the auto assigning of google as it may affect your ranking. So, why should we go for a probable solution when we have the exact one?

301 redirects are absolutely the best practice, especially, if you are looking to maintain the ranking power of the old URL. Manually shifting all of your content and links is always precise and recommended. So, whenever you want to relocate the URLs, it is the best practice to use 301 redirects. Besides all benefits, your ranking power will remain intact.