In the world of web design, there are 2 kinds of page redirection. There’s a temporary redirect and there’s also a permanent redirect. From a user’s point of view, there is no distinction between the two. However, search engines classify a 301 redirect as under permanent redirection.
Let’s take a step back first. What is redirection? For those who do not know, a redirection occurs when you clicked a link, and then, you are guided into another web page. When you move page A to page B, that is what you page redirection. This blog post will mostly focus on 301 redirect.
What’s so special with it?
A 301 redirect will divert web visitors from one site to another. Once you type the web address and hit enter, the search engine will redirect you to another address. This website is different from the one you initially inputted. All the 301 redirects belong to one main address. So, when you type any variation of the website, you will still arrive at one uniform website.
- I know it’s confusing when there’s no concrete example. For instance, take the website Google. It is spelled with 2 o’s, but if you accidentally typed in, gooogle with 3 o’s, it will still redirect you to Google’s homepage. Go ahead and try it for yourself. Click the gooogle with 3 o’s and see for yourself if it will automatically lead you to Google.com.
- Another example is the blogging service, Blogger. If you have an account, you know that the default blog address gets a blogspot.com URL. Whether you use blogger.com or blogspot.com, both addresses will redirect you to the same website.
Both examples cited above are examples of a 301 redirect. I hope it is all clear now. Let’s move on the next question…
Why do we need a 301 redirect in the first place?
The 3 main reasons why the leading websites use a 301 redirect:
- To combine common spellings to demonstrate domain authority. Like the first example, maybe Google realized the users usually make a mistake by typing 3 o’s! The company decided to buy that domain too so both of the spelling are acceptable. It will redirect to the same Google website.
- To rename your website. For example, you decide to move to another domain name. So, once your current users will type your old address, the search engines will automatically update with your new web address.
- To redirect to a specific website especially if the URLS are under one company. For example, in terms of film production, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, Marvel Studios, and Blue Sky Studios are all a subsidiary of Disney.
301 redirect vs. other redirects.
A 301 redirect is the ideal kind because it is a permanent redirect. Whatever the user will type, it will always go to the specified URL. This is important particular in search engine optimization because it will retain your website rankings.
Of course, it is also helpful in web design because 301 redirects avoid navigation errors. It is definitely convenient for your users to jump from one web page to another. You are certain that they will arrive at the correct URL because you have installed a 301 redirect.