301 redirect definition
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection from one URL to another. It sends visitors and search engines to a new URL than the one they initially requested.
See also: URL redirection attack
Usage of 301 redirects
- Domain name changes. When a company changes its domain name, it often uses a 301 redirect to automatically send visitors from the old domain (e.g., olddomain.com) to the new one (e.g., newdomain.com).
- Merged websites. When a user merges their websites, they redirect traffic from pages on the old site to relevant pages on the combined site.
- URL updates for SEO. If a website updates its URL structure for better SEO (e.g., adding keywords, making URLs more user-friendly), 301 redirects guide users from the old URLs to the new one.
- Product changes. When a newer product takes the older’s place, e-commerce sites redirect users from the old product page to the current one.
- Switching to HTTPS. When a website moves from HTTP to HTTPS for enhanced security, 301 redirects ensure users reach the HTTPS version.
- Duplicates. When a website has multiple pages with similar content, 301 redirects guide users to a single authoritative page.
- Consolidating WWW and non-WWW URLs. To ensure consistency, a 301 redirect guides users from the www version of a website to the non-www version or vice versa.