Oct 14 2010

How to Verify Search Engines See A 301 Redirect

Category: organic seoTom Shivers


If you are looking for how to setup a proper 301 redirect, checkout Website Upgrade – Can That Affect My Search Engine Rankings?

Sometimes 301 redirects are not seen by search engines even though they appear to work in a browser. So, how do you verify the search engines will see and transfer all page rank and authority to the new URL?

  1. You must be able to see and understand what the search engine spiders see when they access the URL in question. This is done by using an HTTP status codes checker. There are seven HTTP status codes (200|301|302|304|307|404|410) that we are primarily interested in from an indexing and search engine marketing perspective.
  2. When you use the http status code checker on a URL with a 301 redirect, you want to see the 301 code for the old URL followed by a 200 status code for the new URL.
  3. Here are some common problems for Windows servers:

  • If you have access to the administrators group on the Windows server, you can setup permanent redirects there, which is the preferred way to do it. Some Windows servers do not require the full URL to work on the server but the http status codes may not show a 301 status. To get around this use the full or absolute URL.
  • If you do not have access to the administrators group on the Windows server, you can use the meta refresh redirect which is recognized by search engines, but they don’t show up in the http status codes.
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