Ah, those redirects! Everyone knows what they are and what they are used for, essentially. Still, they are baffling a lot of people in another manner. Let’s take apples, for example. Everyone knows what an apple is and that you are supposed to eat it. The trouble is – everybody would rather eat an apple pie instead, which is not as simple to create.
The same goes for redirects. Everyone knows what they are and what they do. If you want to gently nudge your visitors to another URL instead of the one they clicked on, you set up a redirect. That’s all there is to it, right? However, managing these properly in order to get a delicious pie, or, in this case, an astonishing SEO result for a particular page or post, is not as simple as it may sound.
So, how do you actually use redirects to your benefit? Or, to be more precise: how do you use them to improve your SEO score? Up until a couple of years ago, using redirects could be harmful. The Google page rank algorithm used to determine search rankings noted that pages lose in value when redirected. However, in 2019, Google has assured us that the value won’t drop, and in some cases, redirects can actually help you improve it! So, let’s get down to it.
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Getting the Most Out of Redirects
There are many ways in which redirects can help your SEO. The first and foremost, is to redirect their users from old, outdated or recently removed content to a fresh,new page. This is a mandatory step for any website owner, as there are many ways outdated content can harm your visitor’s overall experience on your site and your SEO.
Redirecting 404s is another important aspect here. While these are a rather normal part of each website and internet as a whole (meaning that Google won’t punish your site for having them) they can create a bad user experience. Remember how frustrated you were the last time you went to a page and saw this error? Your visitors feel the same. So figuring out a redirect for some of the more common causes of 404 errors, and delivering visitors to an alternate, relevant page could be helpful.
On another note, there is a chance that you have changed your domain name or created a new site. There is no reason not to keep your audience and backlinks, right? Be careful here, though. If you are using content from an expired source, you could be heading into the gray area of SEO, and Google might not be too happy about it.
The Merging (Cocktail) Technique
You can also use the 301 redirects to double your site’s traffic too! The Cocktail Technique is the best way to handle posts and pages ranking for the same keyword and turning them into a single post (with the help of a redirect). Then you can bring in double the traffic to a single post.
How can you do this? Look for the posts or pages that cover the same topic, and receive a moderate amount of traffic.
This article was written by Kyla and originally published on WPExplorer.