301 Redirects - What is a 301 Redirect?

Mar 15th

301 redirect is a catch phrase often used in SEO where nobody really explains how to do it. Many people feel too dumb to ask "how do I do a 301 redirect?" because they feel they should just know what one is.

Use a 301 redirect to move a site from
http://www.oldurl.com/uncool/ (root of the old homepage)
to http://www.newurl.com/cool/

Create a .htaccess file in your root directory. If one already exists then you can just add this line of code to it.

Redirect permanent / http://www.newurl.com/cool/

in addition you can use a 301 redirect to move any given page.

Redirect permanent /bla/bla.html /newspot/bla.html

301 redirects are used to permanently move a site to a new location. Search engines do not apply penalties to 301 redirects the way they apply them to many other types of redirects.

When you create a .htaccess file make sure you transfer it in ASCII and not binary. You will probably want to CHMOD the file to 644 for security reasons as well. .htaccess is an Apache technology and not a windows server technology. Learn more about .htaccess

Published: March 15, 2004

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Comments

December 25, 2010 - 3:40am

Wrote a detailed article about redirects recently http://www.techrealms.net/2010/12/url-redirects-and-forwarding-from-and....

April 15, 2011 - 8:25pm

If you have some pages on your old site that will not be on your new site, but somewhat relevant content will be on there is it better to:
1. 301 redirect to the closest matching content?
2. 301 redirect to the new domain's root?
3. Do no 301 redirect and let the page go to a 404 on the new site?

April 15, 2011 - 10:54pm

There is no universal right or wrong on that & I hesitate to throw out a singular "do this" without knowing more about your situation. Though generally it is best to be as relevant as possible, & generally it is best to minimize the number of redirects you are using, though of course there can be some strategic exceptions.

April 16, 2011 - 12:15am

A few more details:
Old site was a site where I sold baby products. New site is a comparison shopping site where I refer baby products. Most of the items carried over but some did not. I redirected all categories and manufacturer pages as well as the root to exact matches. Now I'm on the product level. Most of the indexed pages of the old site are product pages so I don't want to lose the rankings/placements of those pages. So if I have an exact match on the product it's a no brainer. But I'm trying to decide if I want to redirect products that didn't carry over to the new site to the root or to the most relevant product next to the products itself. Hope that makes sense.
Also, I will end up with roughly 4000 redirects. Are you saying that is bad? If I just redirect the root I feel like I'd lose all of those random indexed pages that are the actual generators or organic traffic.

April 16, 2011 - 3:07am

I figure you see it in my signature, but just in case you would want to look at the new site for reference it is PricesPrices.com

April 17, 2011 - 12:24am

Just an FYI, this article on Google pretty much answered my question. Better to 301 to relevant content than a 404.
https://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=83105&hl=en

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