Inexperienced website builders run into a range of preventable SEO issues when searching ways to optimize their pages. URL redirects evidently become a major problem that many website managers may not even be aware of.
Configured when URLs are modified or when content is removed, URL redirects are usually put in as people look to protect their SEO performance. For example, when old URLs in Google’s index reach a 404, all equity in a link is lost. The easy nature of re-directing an old, poorly constructed URL to a redirected, semantic URL makes it a useful tool.
‘Broken redirects’ however are when redirects produce errors and/or when they are redirecting to the wrong place. They can be very difficult to detect however it’s something that can be easily prevented. Websites that leave broken redirects ongoing, they see external links coming into their page no longer count towards their page authority and their search engine rank drops instantly. This damage does not only apply to that single page but also cascades across the whole site.
The first thing to do is to realize how precious links really are. As hard as it is to get links, keeping them should also be made a high priority. How one finds broken links is a little troublesome. After all, a typical audit tool will only examine on-site URLs and will not examine old ones. In addition, old URLs are quickly eliminated from Google’s index so you won’t see no search traffic coming there. The only way to find broken re-directs is to be actively testing them. That’s the difficult truth.
Therefore, prevention should be key in guarding against broken redirects. Do your best to avoid changing URL structures and not creating the redirects in the first place. Create good, SEO-friendly URLs from the get-go. Also, don’t modify URL structure for even any minor tweaks unless you really have to.
At times, redirects may be unavoidable. For example, an old URL structure may be not well thought out and confusing to users, a site may be moving to a new domain or subdomain, or existing content may be moving or consolidating.
If you have to put together URL redirects, make sure they persist. Ensure they are done correctly and that they are set up to continue functioning in perpetuity. Test and verify regularly. Minimum, have a set of URLs to test periodically throughout the year. In addition, find a backlink took that can help pull in reports of inbound 404s. A report like this can help identify patterns where broken redirects exist.
Preserving links is a tough job because once a site gets large enough, it’s almost a full-time job ensuring that there are no broken redirects at play. No matter, it’s critical to eliminate any broken redirects you find. By neglecting this part of your website, you may be exposing it to a lower Google ranking than what it rightfully should earn.
Protect value in your site. Search engine rankings are fragile and in order to keep up with the competition vying for placement on your keywords, be proactive in identifying aspects of your site that may be lowering your standing.