Discovering the Types of Redirects
There are several different types of redirects in the world of the Internet. These commands give you a way to redirect your site visitors from one URL (the web address of a page, such as www.wiley.com) to another.
Often, you need to use a redirect to reroute people linking to an old page to its replacement page, especially if your website undergoes reorganization so that files and directories have to be renamed and moved around. You also need to use redirects in the normal course of site maintenance, to help visitors coming to alternative URLs to get to the URLs that contain the content they’re looking for.
301 (permanent) Redirects
The 301 Redirect is the preferred and most SEO‐friendly form of redirect. Also known as a permanent redirect, the 301 Redirect informs a search engine that the page has been permanently moved to a new location. This is the cleanest redirect because there’s no ambiguity — the search engines get a clear message that one page is history and some other URL has now taken its place.
302 (temporary) Redirects
Another commonly used form of redirect is the 302 Redirect, which signifies Document Found Elsewhere. You use this redirect for temporary relocations of a web page. Search engines see the new page as only temporary and continue to crawl and index the original location, instead.
Reconciling your www and Non‐www URLs
How can you use redirects on a practical level? One common situation solved by a 301 Redirect involves how to reconcile your www and non‐www domains.
Having both versions is recommended because users have a tendency to type either of the versions into their browser, and you want to receive all that traffic. However, because these are treated as two different websites, you have to make it clear to them which address is the main, or canonical, site. Otherwise, you may end up competing against yourself for search engine rankings.
Implementing 301 Redirects
Implementing a 301 Redirect with header inserts
An alternative way to implement 301 Redirects is by adding code directly into the page you want to redirect. Yes, it means opening and modifying each page individually, but sometimes that kind of granular control is a good thing — especially if you only need to redirect a few pages. Called a header insert, this method involves placing a small amount of server code into the HTML of each page you want to permanently redirect to another URL.
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