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The Importance of Redirects

Redirecting web pages is an important strategy that involves telling search engines like Google where content can be found. It involves forwarding one web page (URL) to another web page (URL).

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If you are having a new website created and your URL’s / URL structure is changing then it is vital that you tell the search engines where this new page can be found. This is because Google will treat the page on the new website as a completely new page and the prestige associated with the old page will be lost. So, if you have worked hard on getting your website to list in the top spots on Google, then it is crucial that you have these pages redirected so that these listings can be maintained. Without a redirect, your website could face terrifying prospects; the influx of traffic that your website was once receiving could drop dramatically as top listing positions are lost.
There are also other instances in which you might want to redirect pages, for example if you are moving some content from one page and combining it on another page then it is important that you tell the search engines like Google that this is happening. Therefore, if someone tries to find or comes through to the old URL by accident they will automatically be presented with the new content on the new page. This increases usability and prevents your customers be confronted with an error 404 page which often puts many off.
This type of redirect is called a 301 redirect. A permanent redirect tells the search engines that this page has been moved indefinitely.
Top Tip – Get your redirects put in place before the old content is deleted or inactive, this way Google will be able to see almost immediately, where the new content can now be found.

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Sophie Angell
Sophie is part of the Digital Marketing team at WNW Digital, concentrating on running your social media channels, writing blogs and writing content for your websites. You can follow Sophie on Twitter @SophieWNW or alternatively email her at sophie@wnwdigital.co.uk

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