A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested.
- To create a redirect, click on the Manage tab and then select Redirects.
- You can either click on the New button or on the Create a redirect link.
- Add the page from which you are going to create your redirect.
- Select the page you want Google to index (301) or the page you want your visitor to see until you finish the real page (302).
- Select what kind of redirect you wish to create.
- Save your changes when you are done.
Why 301 redirects are important
When things change on a website and you do not have a 301 redirect instruction covering the change, a few things can happen:
- If someone clicked a link on another site that points to a page that has now moved or is gone the visitor will get a 404 error page, indicating the web server cannot find the page. With a 301 redirect instruction in place you can send them to the correct page or an alternative page if the page was deleted.
- A search engine bot is just like a visitor who has been directed to a page from a link within your site, from another site, or from their records in their index. They also need to know that the page has been removed or moved to a new location.
- Your page is listed in a search engine or a directory somewhere and the link that you worked so hard adding content to is now useless if a 301 redirect is not in place. A directory editor might not take the time to find where you moved the page to and just delete the link.
When you redesign a website with any changes to page names and/or location it is important that you do 301 permanent redirects so you do not have to start all over from scratch getting your new pages (or possibly the whole site) re-indexed in search engines.