The Internet uses codes which instruct browsers how to function. One of the most important codes is the 301 redirect. 301 redirects instructs a browser to ignore an old link and instead visit a new one. This article explains the importance of the 301 code in more detail.
301 redirects are an essential part of any SEO strategy. Any time that you decide to change the URL of a page, or move a page that is used to reach any other specific pages, you will need to set up a 301 redirect. This is because the internet uses codes which tell a web browser how to function. If this article appears in your web browser it will be given the code 200 which means that the page is fully functioning. There are hundreds of other codes used, but aside from 200, this article is going to focus on 301.
What is the 301 Status?
When a page is moved permanently, a web browser will receive the 301 status. This is a highly important piece of information for a web browser as it instructs it to drop the old link that they already have stored, and instead update it to the new web address. If you have changed your website or changed the location of a specific page, you will want the 301 status to appear.
Why are 301 Redirects So Important?
If you have spent any length of time painfully going through your website and ensuring that you have no duplicate content, you will understand the importance of unique content online. As your website grows it is easy to get a bit lost and have similar articles online or articles with very similar wording. Whilst this isn’t a bad thing from your readers’ point of view, it is from the search engines, as it could be marked as duplicate content or even spam. This is clearly not what you, as a website owner, want to happen, as it can lead to your site being penalized by the search engines which can drastically alter your page rank.
As the search engine algorithms have no way of recognizing what is and isn’t spam, Google advises website owners to use a 301 redirect if they are planning on moving their whole website or just a webpage. This tells both the web browsers and the search engines that the page has moved permanently and reduces the chance of your website being marked as spam.