The Importance of 301 Redirects

5 CommentsMonday, 18 February 2013  |  Rich

When you change a page URL on your site, you run the risk of causing damage to your site's SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If the URL being changed is already indexed by Google, changing the URL will result in a 404 (Not Found) error next time Google visits the page. Even though the page still exists, Google doesn't know where it is and will consider it to have been removed. The page's place in the index (and any link authority it had) will be gone.

Link authority can be defined as the quantity and quality of incoming links to a page from external sites, along with the relevance of those links to the page content. Needless to say, it takes a long time to build link authority and a simple URL change to wipe it out entirely! Along with the SEO impact, there is also the loss of traffic from human visitors finding the old link and being served with a 404 error page.

Does this mean that you should never change any of the URLs throughout your site? No, not at all, there is a very simple solution! A 301 redirect is, technically, a specially formatted line of text which is placed in the site's .htaccess file, a special file which runs on the server every time a page is requested.

It has always been possible to add 301 redirects to a Bluepark site via the Settings section, within the Website tab, at the bottom of the page. Now, however, your Admin Console will prompt you whenever you change a page URL relating to a standard page, a blog category or post, a product or a category. If you accept the recommendation, the redirect will be added to your .htaccess file automatically. You can see that it has been added by viewing Configuration: Site Options, where you can make further additions or modifications as necessary.

If you've only just created the page, there is no need to worry about adding a 301 redirect. You only need to do this if the page has already been indexed by search engines, or if the link has been published in some way and is already in use.

We trust that all of our clients will find this feature very helpful in keeping their site's pages indexed and ranking well, whatever their URLs may be!

Terry Quinn
Tuesday, 19 February 2013  |  8:15

Another fantastic development for Bluepark. It is evident from the constant updates that Bluepark have our interests at heart. There have been a lot of changes with Google of late, and these changes have caused a lot of conceren, so, it is heartwarming to know that Bluepark are on the ball and on our side as retailers
Thank you

Graham Cheeseman
Tuesday, 19 February 2013  |  10:29

Very helpful update - thank you

Adrian Robinson
Tuesday, 19 February 2013  |  12:23

Simply, a fantastic update...

Kerry Scott-Gillett
Wednesday, 20 February 2013  |  10:35

Another excellent update and a really helpful blog post - thank you!

Elizabeth Jane Carter
Friday, 22 March 2013  |  17:18

Very pleased with this update - many thanks

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