If there are changes made to any website, one of the most important things the site owner can do is to alert the search engines so that they can use redirects to guide the search engines to the right location. If you do not guide the search engines to the correct route, it will have a very negative impact on your site and your rankings, as well.

You could be moving your pages, switching platforms or whatever it is you are doing to avoid having duplicate content; you need the help of redirects so that you do not end up throwing away your link juice.  There are many ways of redirecting and you need to do things right so as not to waste all your SEO efforts but you do not want to run the risk of falling outside the guidelines.


Programmers who are not well-versed with SEO are likely to use a temporary redirect which is also known as a 302 redirect.  However, the bad thing about this redirect is it does not transfer the link juice you acquire from the redirect URL to the destination URL.  It is not that these programmers are not intelligent enough; it is just that they do not know much about certain topics, including this one.  If you are a SEO consultant or if you have hired one, he or she should know well enough to tell the programmer to use the 301 redirect.

If there are going to be changes to any of your links, the 301 redirect must be employed right away. Some of the instances when you need a 301 redirect are when you change domain names or migrate a new content management system.  If you are retiring certain pages, you also need a 301 redirect.

Conditional redirect

Another type of redirect which needs to be monitored regularly is what is called the “conditional redirect”. This type of redirect comes with a warning because it has the potential to get you in big trouble with Google.  As a matter of fact, Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team of Google has advised against using the conditional redirect because of a risk of getting banned or penalized. Although you might have the purest of intentions, you can still get penalized.

Employing the conditional redirect means that the spiders requesting the tracking URL has the potential of getting redirected instead only to the canonical URL. Conditional redirects have their own purpose too and sometimes they are able to solve difficult problems. As a matter of fact, there are lots of small retailers which use it for their needs.

These retailers have the option to redirect all their visitors, both the human and the non-human kind, however, it is the affiliate’s decision to or power to not pass Page Rank. The good thing is if the redirects were conditional, the clicks could still be differentiated.

Indeed there are lots of reasons to be learned regarding redirects and how they can be best implemented so learn as much as you possibly can.