Tingalls Blog - Marketing Tips & Tricks

What’s a 301 Redirect, and Why Do I Need One?

301 Redirects ImageWhy do you need a 301 redirect? Glad you asked. The short answer is to keep Google happy. Google’s support page says: “If you need to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results, we recommend that you use a server-side 301 redirect.”
Clear as mud, right? Okay, let’s break it down in regular speak. There are a couple of situations for which you’ll typically use a 301 redirect:

1) You’ve moved your web page.

As a result of a redesign or revamp to your website some pages might get renamed to better reflect their new purpose. During a website reorganization, often pages are combined into one. Of course, after that, one of them will no longer exist. If your audience searches for this missing page, they will land on a “404 Page Not Found” error. It tends to not only infuriate visitors, but Google will steer search results away from you if it happens too often.

2) You’ve moved your domain.

For example, you went from one domain (www.mysite.com) and now want your customers who go to the old site to be redirected to your new site (www.mynewnamedsite.com). It’s crucial that you don’t have matching web sites showing up with different names. Google considers this duplicate content, and again, you will be penalized by Google with a low search ranking.

HTTP 301 Redirect – A Coded Savior

A 301 is behind the scenes code written in HTTP that shows your website how to redirect a visitor from an old page to a new page seamlessly. It’s powerful code that can be used to redirect only one page or can redirect an entire web site (domain).

Couldn’t I just put a “redirect” link on my homepage?

It’s an option but just not a good one.
Putting a hyperlink on your old webpage pointing to your new webpage with something like: “Click here to see our new page” not only looks sloppy but could upset Google. Pages with irrelevant, outdated, or even no content is another way to lower your search ranking. 

Tingalls can help with that!

A 301 redirect is the best way to take your visitors from old to new when it comes to your website. There are a few technical considerations when setting up an HTTP 301 redirect. It is usually best to leave it to the professionals. Contact us today. We’d be happy to answer your 301 questions and help you implement the necessary redirects for your website.