By Zieliński Jerzy

Page redirects in SEO: managing traffic and site value

Website maintenance and optimization are extremely important tasks. As the need to change URLs, move content or improve navigation arises, so does the need to direct online traffic appropriately. This is where redirects come into play – a technical tool that can significantly impact visibility, user experience and the value of a site in terms of SEO. Read the post to learn more about them.

What are page redirects?

Page redirection is the technical process of redirecting web browsers from a single URL URL (Uniform Resource Locator) to another, most often to provide users or search machines with access to the correct content or location.

Types of page redirects

There are several types of page redirects, each serving different purposes in the context of website traffic management. Here are some of the main types of redirects and examples of how to do a site redirect:

301 Moved Permanently redirect.

This is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Tells browsers and search engines that the site has been permanently moved to a new address. This helps with page moves or URL updates, ensuring that traffic and SEO value goes to the new address.

Example: Moving content from at
How to set in .htaccess file (for Apache server):

Redirect 301 /

Temporary redirect (302 Found)

A temporary redirect means that the page has been moved temporarily to another URL. Browsers and search engines understand that users should continue to use the original URL because the change is temporary.

Example: temporarily moving the site to another site, such as for maintenance. How to set in .htaccess file:

Redirect 302 /

Redirection from the HTML level (Meta Refresh).

This is a technique that involves placing redirect instructions in the HTML code of a page. After a certain amount of time, the browser automatically takes you to another address.

Example: Automatically redirecting a user to another address after a certain amount of time. In HTML code:

Redirect to mobile version (Mobile Redirect)

In order to provide a better user experience on mobile devices, the site can be redirected from a desktop-dedicated URL to a mobile-dedicated URL.

Example: Automatically direct users to the mobile version of the site. In the .htaccess code:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} “android|blackberry|iphone|ipod|palm|windows phone” [NC]

RewriteRule ^$ [L,R=302]

404 redirect (Error Page Redirect)

If a user tries to access a page that doesn’t exist (404 error), the redirect can direct the user to a page with suggestions or similar content.

Example: Directing users who hit a 404 error page to a suggestion page. In the .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

Choosing the right type of redirection depends on your site’s goals, URL changes or the user behavior you want to achieve. It is important to use redirects in moderation and understand their impact on users and search engine positioning.

When to use redirects?

Redirects are used in various situations to direct users or search machines from one URL to another. Here are some cases where you should consider using redirects:

  • Changing a site’s URL: When you change your site’s URL or move its content to another server or domain, it’s a good idea to use a permanent redirect (301) to inform browsers and search engines of the permanent address change. This helps maintain traffic and SEO value.
  • Moving content: If you are moving content from one site to another, and the new site does not have the same URL structure, you can use redirects to direct users to the new content equivalents.
  • Optimization for mobile devices: If you have a separate version of your site tailored for mobile devices, redirects can be used to automatically direct users to the correct version depending on the device they are using.
  • Avoiding 404 errors: If a page doesn’t exist or is unavailable at a particular address, it’s a good idea to set up a redirect that directs the user to an information page or similar content.
  • Correction of URL errors: If you notice typos or errors in URLs, redirects can help direct users to the right pages.
  • Site Consolidation: When companies merge or acquire, redirects can be used to move traffic from one site to another while maintaining SEO value.
  • Security and risks: Redirects can be used for security purposes, such as redirecting users from potentially dangerous addresses to warning pages.
  • Updates and timed redirects: In the event of temporary interruptions to the site or content updates, redirects can help retain users and keep them informed about the status of the site.
  • Changing language versions: If a site has different versions in languages, redirects can help direct users to the appropriate version based on browser preference or location.
  • Improving navigation: Redirects can be used to improve site navigation, directing users to more relevant subpages or categories.

In any case, it is important to properly understand the types of redirects and their impact on users and SEO. Too many redirects or improper management of redirects can lead to user and SEO issues.

Why are redirects important for SEO?

Redirects play an important role for search engine optimization (SEO) for several key reasons:

Preserving SEO value

When you change a site’s URL or move its content to a new address, a permanent redirect (301) tells search engines that the site has been moved permanently. This moves most of the SEO value, such as page authority and positioning in search results, to the new address.

Avoiding double indexing

Without redirects, the page on the new address and the old page on the old address can exist in parallel. This can lead to double indexing and competition in search results. Redirection helps avoid this problem.

User retention and accessibility for users

Redirects allow you to keep users who use old URLs or bookmarks. Incorrect or inaccessible addresses can lead to user frustration, which negatively affects the user experience.

Improved structure and navigation

Redirects can help improve site structure and navigation by directing users to appropriate subpages or categories. This can contribute to a better distribution of SEO value on the site.

404 errors and user improvement

Redirects for 404 (error not found) pages help direct users elsewhere instead of leaving them stranded. This streamlines the user experience.

Security and readability

Redirects protect users from potentially dangerous or invalid URLs. They can also help facilitate access to clear and understandable addresses.

Snapshots and mobile-first search

Redirects are important in the context of Google Mobile-First indexing, where pages are indexed primarily from the perspective of mobile devices. Redirects help indicate to Google which versions of the site are appropriate for different devices.

Keep in mind, however, that improper management of redirects can lead to SEO problems such as redirect loops, site slowdowns and loss of SEO value. It is important to use redirects in moderation, avoid excessive amounts, and make sure they are configured correctly.


In conclusion, SEO redirects play a key role in shaping an effective online traffic management strategy. By properly using different types of redirects, you will avoid problems related to inaccessible pages, URL changes or preserving SEO value. However, the key factor is to manage redirects skillfully and carefully to avoid potential pitfalls such as redirect loops or site slowdowns.

As a result, redirects are becoming an indispensable part of a comprehensive SEO strategy, affecting visibility in search results, user experience and overall site performance. As Internet technology continues to evolve, understanding and skillful use of redirects are key to success in the online world.

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