301 Redirect: How It Affects A Website’s SEO

February 8, 2023

7 minutes Read

Websites or pages may need to be replaced with new ones from time to time. However, if the domain is already ranking well, it would be unwise to lose potential traffic, readers, and customers. 

To maintain existing rankings and backlinks, it is important to connect the old and new link structures. This can also be useful when acquiring a domain with a strong link profile. The solution is a 301 redirect. 

Additionally, we will provide a detailed guide on 301 redirects, and whether or not can you undo a 301 redirect to achieve maximum SEO benefits. 

What Is A 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, an unmistakable message to search engines that the content of a page has been transferred to another address – one which cannot be revisited and remains aloft forever.

 It can be located at any previous URL or even on an entirely different domain.

How Does A 301 Redirect Effectively Boost SEO?

An HTTP 301 redirect is typically understood as a permanency that signifies the removal of an old page from the indexing. 

Over time, the newly-created page will build up trust with search engine crawlers and, most importantly, its relevance in terms of links and citations.

The primary benefit of performing redirects is the ability to transfer links from one website to another. 

Accomplishing 301 redirects offers further proof of a previous ranking and may even be used as a means to acquire more authority for an existing domain.

How to Find the Right Expired Domain for 301 Redirection?

After much deliberation, it is vital to choose a domain that is not currently in use. This way, there is less competition and more certainty that the 301 redirects will be picked up by the search engines.

In order to help minimize these side effects, we have put together some tips for ensuring your 301 redirect goes off without a hitch:

The length Of Time A Domain Has Been Registered

The age of a domain plays an essential role in dictating its ranking potential. New domains typically endure what is colloquially known as the SandBox phase. 

During this period, regardless of any efforts made by their owners to drive traffic to them, they will remain unranked for approximately 3-6 months before Google’s anti-spam measures kick in.

Relevance To A Specific Niche

To maximize results from your 301 redirects, it is essential to ensure a strong link profile. Since expired domains in unrelated niches cannot be utilized for this purpose, one must acquire an already existing domain with relevancy in the same niche as their new website. 

Despite this wisdom being evident to search engines and knowledge of black hat SEO practices, if you 301 non-relevant domains, then expect diminishing returns even with a robust link profile.

An Authoritative Link Profile

To optimize link juice, carefully examine the backlink profile for high authority contextual links, particularly from reputable sources like news publications, educational and governmental websites, and other relevant sites in your niche. 

It’s crucial to prioritize do-follow links, especially those pointing to the homepage. 

It’s also important to scrutinize the anchor cloud to check if the domain has been over-optimized or abused in the past.

What Makes 301 Redirects Significant?

When a page’s relevance, usefulness, or presence on the web has changed dramatically, 301 redirects should be employed. 

They are also indispensable when undertaking a site rebuild – tidying up URLs into more salubrious formats is essential in ensuring that any obsolete links will ultimately be erased. 

It is imperative to ensure that all defunct URLs have been redirected during this process so as not to compromise the readability and navigability of one’s website.

What Is The Significance Of The 301 Server Response Code?

The HTTP 301 Moved Permanently redirect status response code is used to signify that the requested resource has been permanently shifted to a new URL specified in the Location headers. 

Upon encountering this status code, a browser automatically redirects to the latest URL, and search engines rebrand their links to the new resource accordingly.

Which HTTP Status Code Holds Significance In Terms Of SEO?

To a typical visitor, HTTP status codes such as 404, 301, and 500 may hold little significance. However, they are of great importance to SEO professionals as they offer insight into a website’s health. 

Search engine crawlers, such as Googlebot, rely on these codes to determine how the browser communicates with the server. HTTP status codes provide visibility into the exchange that occurs between the browser and server.

Are Too Many 301 Redirects Bad For Seo?

While 301 redirects may offer some benefits, too many can have negative consequences for a website’s SEO. 

Not only can they reduce the site’s organic traffic, but they can also be flagged by search engines as spam. Thus, it is important to employ 301 redirects sparingly and only when necessary.

Are Too Many 301 Redirects Bad For Seo?

According to Search Engine Journal, Using 301 redirects are crucial when permanently moving an old webpage to a new URL. 

They will ensure a positive user experience by instantly connecting users to the content they are looking for, even if they were given an old URL.

Can You Undo A 301 Redirect?

Yes, 301 redirects can be reversed with the help of a URL redirect tool. However, this should only be done in extreme cases, as it can negatively affect the SEO of the website.

Redirecting An Expired Domain

Properly setting up the redirect is a critical step that greatly affects your website’s rankings after acquiring a powerful expired domain. 

Our team has tested numerous domains over the years and developed a foolproof strategy, which we will share with you in this article.

Redirecting At The Level Of Domain & Pages

Once the domain has lingered for a bit, it is time to employ redirects. There are two options available – one that requires manual intervention and another which empowers automatic redirection.

#1

One effective and safe method for maintaining SEO rankings and backlinks during website acquisitions is to create a press-release style announcement page that informs visitors about the acquisition and redirects them to the target pages using internal links. 

This approach is commonly used in the business world and is a reliable method to maintain existing traffic and rankings. 

For example, instead of redirecting abc.com directly to xyz.com, creating a page like xyz.com/abc-acquired and redirecting abc.com to this page can be an effective strategy.

#2

Another approach is to thoroughly analyze the expired domain and reconstruct all its pages on your own website. Then, redirect the relevant pages on the expired domain to their new counterparts on your site. 

Although this method can be time-consuming and may only be suitable for some, it can be an effective strategy if you are willing to make an effort.

Please Verify The Destination Of The Hyperlinks

To start optimizing your website’s link structure:

  1. Begin by checking for links on all versions of your domain.
  1. Use a tool like ahrefs to input your domain name with and without “www” and review the pages with the most links. The tool will provide you with a list of pages with links pointing to them.
  1. Look for a lock symbol next to the URL to determine if the links were built to the HTTPS version of your website.

If you find links to both the HTTP and HTTPS versions, you’ll need to redirect them both. The same goes for the www and non-www versions of your domain.

Additionally, check to see if the backlinks on your website are still active. 

In ahrefs, click on “Backlinks” and select “Live” to verify this. You should manually check the top pages to ensure that the links are still functional.

Recovering Control Of The Domain

It’s recommended to follow a gradual process when restoring a website after it has been down. First, restore the website and publish content, and allow it to sit for around 4 to 5 weeks before implementing any redirects.

It’s important to take your time with things as you may need to achieve the desired outcomes. Additionally, make sure to restore the website to the version that has the most links, whether that’s the www or non-www version or the HTTP or HTTPS version.

Final Thoughts

Implementing 301 redirects is a frequently used strategy that requires caution to preserve the popularity of web pages. 

While it may be necessary at times, it’s important to keep in mind that organizing a site’s structure and navigation effectively can reduce the need for redirects and improve on-site optimization.

Share On Socials

Book a Consultation

Schedule a consultation with our experts to discuss your business goals and get started on the path to success.