Sunday, January 17, 2010

HTTP Error 301 – Permanent Redirection



Introduction

The HTTP response status code 301 Moved permanently is used for permanent redirection. This status code should be used with the location header.

Your Web server thinks that your URL has been permanently redirected to another URL. The client system is expected to immediately retry the alternate URL.

301 - Redirects errors to either a custom error page, or some other page in the site (i.e. sitemap, homepage or best guess)

Fixing 301 errors

The 301 response from your Web server should always include an alternative URL to which redirection should occur. If it does, a Web browser will immediately retry the alternative URL. So you never actually see a 301 error in a Web browser, unless perhaps you have a corrupt redirection chain e.g. URL A redirects to URL B which in turn redirects back to URL A. If your client is not a Web browser, it should behave in the same way as a Web browser i.e. immediately retry the alternative URL.

If the Web server does not return an alternative URL with the 301 response, then either the Web server sofware itself is defective or your Webmaster has not set up the URL redirection correctly.

301 Redirect

A function of a web server that redirects the visitor from the current page or site to another page or site, while returning a response code that says that the original page or site has been permanently moved to the new location. Search engines like this information and will readily transfer link popularity (and Page Rank) to the new site quickly and with few issues. They are also not as likely to cause issues with duplication filters. SEOs like 301 redirects, and they are usually the preferred way to deal with multiple domains pointing at one website.


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