Why Use a 301 Redirect Strategy After Website Redesign

Why Use a 301 Redirect Strategy After Website Redesign


In majority of site redesigns, SEO relies on an precise, comprehensive and perfectly implemented 301 redirect strategy. A great strategy preserves your site’s link authority which is crucial especially if your site has earned a good reputation and has been around for a long time. 301 redirects authorize Google and other search engines to transfer the link authority of your old site to the new one, when you are changing domains, and deleting pages or file extensions.


Without it, the new URLs would start all over, from scratch. This can be disastrous to your business.


301 Redirect Overview


A 301 redirect is essentially an HTTP server response code. When a search bot or a browser requests a page on the server and the page loads, the first thing that the server sends to a page is a 200 OK code. This status tells the browser that the page exists in the URL and that it is sending the page to be displayed on the browser.


But when the server sends a 301 redirect to the browser it’s sort of like saying, “Hold on, this page has already been moved and it won’t be coming back to this particular URL so I’m sending you the new URL in order for you to view the page you’re requesting.”


For search engine optimization, a 301 redirect is very important when you are redesigning your website because:


  • It enables the requester to be redirected to the new URL
  • It passes the page’s link authority to the new URL
  • It informs search engines that the old URL should be de-indexed


Website developers are the ones creating the actual redirects because should be written manually or managed within the interface of the admin of the site. If you are planning to redesign your site, insist on 301 redirects.


Other redirects such as 302 and 404 are not as effective. The 302 temporary redirects do not pass link authority, all they do is redirect the customer. They also do not tell search engines to de-index the old URL. 404, on the other hand, only prompt de-indexation but do not have any function in retaining link authority. Meta refresh as well as JavaScript redirects do not pass link authority either, but work pretty much like 302s.


Your 301 redirect strategy simply have a redirect map that contains your site’s old URLs and paired with the new ones. Your strategy should have:


  • List of stakeholders;
  • Timeline;
  • 301 redirect map;
  • Testing strategy;
  • Measurement strategy.


Take note that you can only have a redirect map once you have completed the URLs for your newly redesigned site. Most website designers do not love working on redirects but insist on this if you want to prevent your ranking from getting affected after a website redesign.





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