Definition of 301 redirects

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360.

on the theme Technical SEO 

In the world of referencing and website management, the 301 redirect is a technique commonly used to ensure a smooth transition between two URLs.

In this article, our SEO Agency will explore this important concept in clear, accessible language, covering its definition, use and benefits for websites.

301 redirects

What is a 301 redirect?

301 redirect is a message sent by the server of a websitewhich indicates that the requested content is now at a different address URL.

In technical terms, this is an HTTP response code that means "permanent move". When search engines receive this code, they understand that the page has been moved and update their index accordingly.

So instead of getting an error (such as 404, which means "page not found"), the user is automatically directed to the new address of the content. This type of redirection is essential for maintaining a good user experience and avoid loss of traffic when a page or an entire site changes address.

Main uses of 301 redirects

  1. Website redesign When you carry out a complete overhaul of your website, some pages may be deleted, merged or moved. In this case, it is essential to set up 301 redirects to direct users and visitors to the right pages. indexing robots to the corresponding content.

  2. Change of domain name If you decide to change the domain name of your website, you need to use 301 redirects to guide visitors from the old domain to the new one, while maintaining your positions in the search engines.

  3. Duplicate content When several URLs point to the same content (for example, when two versions of the site can be accessed with and without "www"), setting up a 301 redirect helps to avoid problems of duplicate content and to consolidate the popularity content on a single URL.

  4. Reorganisation of site architecture Finally, if you simply decide to reorganise the layout of the pages on your site (for example, by adding a new category or changing the URL structure), 301 redirects will again be essential to guide users and search engines to the new addresses.

Benefits of 301 redirects for natural referencing

301 redirects are not just useful for improving the user experience when changing URLs: they also have a direct impact on the natural referencing of your website. Here are some of the main benefits associated with this method:

Maintaining positions in search engines

Search engines, and Google in particular, attach great importance to URL continuity. Once a page has been indexed and has accumulated popularity (measured in particular by the number and quality of links pointing to it), it is essential to preserve this achievement when changing address.

By signalling the permanent displacement of content via a 301 redirectIn this way, you allow search engines to transfer a significant part of the popularity of the old URL to the new one. This transfer process, generally known as "passing from link juice "This helps to maintain your position in the search results.

Preservation of existing inbound links

When you change the address of a piece of content, all the incoming links pointing to the old URL become potentially ineffective, or even counter-productive for your SEO. 301 redirection solves this problem by guiding users and robots from the old URL to the new one. broken links to the new content URL.

As well as preserving the link juice mentioned above, this also helps to maintain the continuity of your relationships with partner sites, bloggers and others who have placed a link to your website.

How do I set up a 301 redirect?

There are several methods for implementing 301 redirects. In most cases, this is done via the .htaccess file (a configuration file often used on Apache servers), using a few lines of code. Here's a simple example to redirect the old URL "" to the new URL "":

RewriteEngine On
Redirect 301 /old-folder

Other techniques, such as dedicated plugins or the use of native CMS (for example WordPress), can also be considered to simplify the implementation of redirections. It is important to check regularly that redirections are working correctly, using online analysis tools or dedicated software.

To conclude: don't overlook the importance of 301 redirects

301 redirects are an essential part of any strategy SEO successful when it comes to URL changes.

By applying this method rigorously and adapting your content to facilitate migration, you will not only preserve the user experience but also the popularity of your website in search engines.

So don't hesitate to give 301 redirects the time and attention they deserve, and don't forget to regularly monitor their impact on your natural referencing to make the most of them.

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