301 Redirect

What Is A 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent method of redirecting one URL to another.

It’s a clear signal to search engines like Google that the original page has been permanently moved to a new URL.

But that’s not all…

A 301 redirect transfers the SEO ranking power from the old URL to the new one. It sends a new “Moved Permanently” 301 HTTP status to the browser and search engine crawler.

It also shows the new URL so the web browser and crawler land in the right place.

what is a 301 redirect

It’s important to note that a 301 redirect is a permanent redirection method. This is unlike a 302 redirect, which is a temporary redirection method.

The 301 redirect tells search engines the URL has changed forever and that they should index the new URL.

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What Is The Purpose Of A 301 Redirect?

The purpose of a 301 redirect is to maintain the integrity of your site structure.

Using 301 redirects will help you avoid losing traffic and ensure that your site always follows best practices for SEO with URL transitions.

There are three primary reasons you should use a 301 redirect:

  1. Maintains a quality user experience by preventing broken links on your site
  2. Tells search engines when a URL has changed so they can index the new URL
  3. Redirects ranking power, traffic value and page authority

Pro Tip: 301 redirects transfer the SEO value from the old URL to the new one.

Carefully plan the redirects before implementing them during website restructuring to prevent a drop in organic traffic.

When Would It Be Necessary To Do A 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is necessary when you change the URL structure of your site or remove/change a page permanently.

You want your users and search engines to be seamlessly guided to the new page. That means if they land on the old page, it redirects automatically to the new one without any issues.

Here is a list of scenarios where it would be necessary to use a 301 redirect:

  • URL Change: Permanently redirect an old URL to the new one permanently
  • Domain Change: Forward traffic from an old to a new domain
  • Website Merger: Point all old site URLs to the new merged site
  • Canonicalization: Unify similar URLs to a single source
  • Site Reorganisation: Redirect from the old site structure to the new site structure
  • HTTP to HTTPS Change: Secure your site with HTTPS redirect
  • Link Equity Consolidation: Merge backlinks from several pages to one
  • Duplicate Content: Redirect duplicate content to the preferred URL
  • After s Site Rebuild: Guide users to new pages after a redesign
  • Deleted Pages: Redirect removed content to the relevant page

301 redirects also prevent 404 errors and help maintain a quality user experience.

How To Do A 301 Redirect

The two primary ways to do a 301 redirect are:

  1. Using CMS tools
  2. Editing your .htaccess file

Both can work, but it just depends on the CMS you use and your level of technical knowledge.

Using CMS Tools

Most CMS platforms like WordPress have plugins or built-in tools for 301 redirects. This will be the easiest method for most people.

For WordPress users, we recommend RankMath.

rank math plugin

They have a simple Redirections tool that makes it easy to implement a 301 redirect.

This will make it super easy to redirect any URL on your site.

Editing Your .htaccess File

Your website’s .htaccess file is found in your website’s root directory.

If you just want to create a new 301 redirect from a single page, you can simply add the following code below:

Redirect 301 /old-page.html /new-page.html

Only Apache servers have .htaccess files. So keep in mind that this will only work if your site is run on an Apache server (which is most sites today).

But double-check before you start digging around.

How To Find And Fix 301 Redirect Issues On Your Site

The easiest way to find and fix 301 redirects is by:

Both will work – It just depends on your website and needs.

My personal favourite is RankMath. They have an in-built 404 monitor that automatically identifies broken URLs on your site.

Broken URLs are the first you should redirect.


You can also manually redirect any URL on your site.

Once you have installed the RankMath plugin, click on “Redirections”, then “Add New”.

create a 301 redirect

Now, you simply add in the old URL and where you want it to redirect. Click “Save”and RankMath will take care of the rest.

Pro Tip: Regularly audit your site for 301 redirect issues.

This will prevent unnecessary redirect chains and loops.

301 redirect issues can eat the crawl budget allocated to your site from Google, which will make it harder to get your pages indexed.

Some of the common 301 redirect issues to watch out for are:

  1. HTTP pages – Caused when migrating from HTTP to HTTPS.
  2. Redirect chains – Caused when you redirect to a URL that then redirects to another URL (called redirect chains).
  3. Broken redirects – Caused when you add a 301 redirect to a page that has been moved or taken down.
  4. 301 redirects in a sitemap – Redirects that show up and bloat your sitemap.
  5. External redirecting links – Caused when you redirect to an external URL that is “broken” or “dead”.

Make sure you spend the time to fix any 301 redirect issues as they appear.

Leave them too long and they can snowball into a massive problem for your site.

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