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Matt Cuts, On redirects and 301s
08_12_2011

Once again a 4+minutes video from our favourite Matt Cutts.
The question this time was:

Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site?
How About how many redirects I can chain together?

First free tip is: Try to deep link on the most relevant page of the new site. Do not just redirect to the home page. This is bad for both Search Engines and User Experience, as they are both looking for a specific page and not for your home page. You will be impressed on the ‘influence’ this will have on your bounce rate percentage.

On the number of redirects you can compile from site1 to site2, the answer is: There is no limit on the number of redirects you can compile. Feel free to be as precise on your 301s as you like. Google will not punish you! On the contrary both Google crawlers and human visitors will appreciate this extra effort of yours

No limit on the number of redirects

And last is the tricky part. Although there is no limit on the number of redirects, there is a limit on the number of hops/chains we can build until we reach the final URL which resolves and returns an HTTP  200 result. Search engine crawlers are likely to stop following the redirects after 3 hops and will certainly not follow any hops after the sixth. Keep in mind, that even if due to luck or due to high reputation of your website, crawlers do decide to follow the long 6 chain of redirects you have, the latency will be so high, that your pages SEO value will be decreased and as a result your page will not rank as expected.
The wget tool can help you into counting the number of hops/chains until you reach your final destination. Those familiar with Linux/Cygwin can use it straight ahead by typing “wget www.yoururl.com/yourpath –delete-after“. Windows users can download the wget tool here

more than three 301s can discourage search engines

And some Matt Cutts infographics: 4.1% of Matt Cutts videos are over 4 minutes and Matt wears a yellow t-shirt on 8.1% of his videos, see more Matt Cutts Infographics here and the full article from Google webmasters blog

Once again a 4+minutes video from our favourite Matt Cutts. The question this time was: Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site? How About how many redirects I can chain together? First free tip is: Try to deep link on the most relevant page of the [...]

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1 Comment

  1. Great tip, thanks for sharing.

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