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What is a 301 Redirect in Digital Marketing?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Its name is derived from the HTTP status code for this type of redirect, which is '301'. When a browser calls for a page that's been redirected, a 301 status code is returned by the server, pointing the browser to the new location of the requested page.
301 redirects are particularly important when changing a website's domain name, or when merging two websites or pages. They ensure visitors end up at the correct page and not a dead (404 Error) link.
These redirects are also essential for SEO as they help transfer link equity (rankings) to the redirected page, optimizing your website's page rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).
301 Redirect's Role in Digital Marketing
301 redirects play a crucial role in digital marketing. They help businesses maintain their established SEO rankings when transitioning from old webpages to new ones. By using a 301 redirect, the existing SEO strength of an old page is carried over to the new page. This helps businesses to avoid losing their position in search engine rankings whenever they make changes to their websites.
Additionally, 301 redirects improve the user experience by eliminating 'Page Not Found' errors. If a user clicks on a link that has been moved or removed, the 301 redirect will point them to the relevant, live page.
A 301 redirect can also be used to resolve issues with duplicate content. Multiple URLs leading to the same content can confuse search engines and may lead to lower SEO rankings. A 301 redirect guides search engines to a single primary URL, helping improve SEO performance.
301 Redirect Examples
An example of a 301 redirect usage is when a company rebrands and changes its domain name. The company would redirect visitors from the old domain to the new one, using a 301 redirect, ensuring that visitors do not encounter any dead links and that the company retains its SEO ranking.
Another scenario is moving a popular article from one webpage to another. In this case, a 301 redirect would be set up from the old webpage to the new one, carrying over the SEO benefits associated with the old page. This ensures a seamless transition for both users and search engines.
Lastly, if a website identifies multiple pages with duplicate content, a 301 redirect can be established, pointing all duplicating URLs to a master URL. This eliminates potential SEO confusion and aids in improving the rank of the original content.