301 redirects explained
If you change the URL of a web page or move your website to a new domain name we recommend using a 301 redirect to permanently direct your users and search engines to the new location.
The 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location.
When search engines are sent a 301 redirect by our servers, they’ll stop using your old URL and update their search results with the new URL.
When to use 301 redirect
We recommend using 301 redirects in the following circumstances:
- If you’re planning on moving your site to a new domain and want to make the transfer transparent and seamless.
- You’re merging two websites and want to direct traffic to the new URLs.
- You’ve changed the location of a web page and want the search engines to update their results with your new URL.
- If you can access your site with and without ‘www.’ then you should use a 301 redirect to redirect traffic to your preferred (or canonical) destination. This tells the search engines to treat both domains as the same site and means your site won’t be penalized for duplicate content – something Google frowns upon.
- Registering multiple domains is a great way of protecting your brand and boosting traffic. Downside is search engines may think you’re spamming them with duplicate content. A permanent 301 redirect tells the search engines to only index your preferred (canonical) domain.