One of the worst things that can happen to your site is to have an internet user try to locate your site through the use of search engines and encounter a “page not found” or a “404” error screen simply because you changed or retired your old URL’s SERP position for a new one, and you forgot to provide a way for your site visitors to get redirected to your new URL.
This can be disastrous for your business as this can have a negative effect on your possible clients. Keep in mind that it is very easy for them to go to another, more accessible and easier to find business. One way that you can actually prevent this from happening is by providing them with a 301 redirect that will basically lead them to your new URL even if they try to access your old URL found on search engines.
What is a 301 Redirect?
Before anything else, we first need to discuss what a 301 redirect is in order for you to get a better idea as to what steps you need to take for the entire process.
A 301 redirect, or a permanent URL move, is actually the most efficient, and the only acceptable means of redirecting URLs or web pages from a search engine standpoint. Using other types of redirecting can get you in trouble with most search engines, so if you want to be able to preserve your search engine rankings, make sure to use this type of redirect for your site.
When do you need to use a 301 Redirect?
When you decide to retire your old URL, or change your old URL’s SERP position to a new one wherein you may need to move pages around or change the names of your files while preserving your site’s page ranking in search engines, then this is the time that you should use the 301 redirect since it can offer you exactly that. Using the 301 redirect basically lets the search engines know that all links currently on the web will now belong to the new web page.
This is also a great tool for you to use if you want to be able to consolidate websites and avoid duplication. This is useful when you have affiliate sites’ ID’s linked to your home page’s unique URL since you will be able to let the search engine crawlers know that these affiliate sites are actually the same page. This can actually benefit your site’s search engine page rankings sine you get credited for the other affiliated links to your site, while preventing the search engine robots from indexing them, creating duplicate contents in its database.
Also, when you do acquire a competing site, you do not need to run two separate sites anymore, but simply use the 301 redirect to simply get all the traffic going to the other site redirected to your site instead.
What is the difference of a 301 redirect with other similar programs?
How do you use 301 redirect
There are a number of ways that you can use the 301 redirect, depending on what it is exactly that you need to redirect and to where. The most common type is to redirect your old URL to a new one. All you need to do is to simply go to the control panel of your web host’s page, and select the ‘redirect’ option there. Simply fill in the blanks with the necessary information and select the ‘permanent’ redirect option to activate the 301 redirect.
Redirecting an additional domain using 301 redirects requires that you set it up with your web host as an add-on domain by registering that additional domain under your domain registrar and changing the domain name servers (DNS) to that of your web host, after which you simply need to select on the ‘add on domains’ option under your web host’s control panel.