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Learning About 301 Redirects

Brian Petti, Cleveland Website Designer

In your quest to attract as much attention to your website as possible, along comes two more terms to deal with: 301 redirects and canonicalization. Canonicalization is the process of selecting the best, most efficient URL for your site. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-url-canonicalization

Put simply, a 301 redirect is a way to instruct a browser to a different location. Without a 301 redirect you can experience canonical issues, such as multiple varying URLs to a site.

Most people consider the following to be the same URLs:

But, are visitors to your website redirected to a centralized URL? This point is where setting up a 301 redirect is important for visitors to find your website. By establishing a 301 redirect, these inbound links go to one centralized URL. Many search engine optimization methods choose the www. version to which to redirect all links. This version is also more user friendly.

A 301 redirect is a way to instruct a browser to a different location. The code 301 is interpreted as “moved permanently.” Remember, a 301 redirect is the most efficient and SEO friendly method for Web page redirection. The 301 redirects are not that hard to implement and they should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, 301 redirect is the safest option.

Orchard Designs has free 301 and 302 code samples to help you with your redirect scripts, and also has developed a free tool to test the redirecting pages to make sure they are working properly. The free SEO tool is called, HTTP Status Code Checker. Give it a try and if you find it useful, please post a link on your website to let other visitors know.

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