What is a redirection error?
Redirection errors often result from having moved (or removed) pages on your site too many times. This either leads to issues directly or indirectly as small mistakes add up to cause real chaos.
Note – When redirecting pages, It’s best practice to set up 301 redirects to the next most relevant page. Sometimes when there isn’t a suitable page it can serve a soft 404 error.
It’s important to stay on top of these errors for three reasons:
Coming across a redirection error can be frustrating for the end user, so much so that they may end up leaving your site entirely.
Google’s crawl bots have a lot of work to do, they don’t want to waste their time crawling links that have redirection errors. This would also waste your crawl budget meaning that Google wouldn’t get around to crawling and indexing other important pages on your site.
If you let these errors build up, it may lead to your SEO taking a hit. You can also read my breakdown on dealing with soft 404 errors.
Luckily for us, fixing redirection errors is easy.
Common ways to trigger redirection errors
There are several ways to trigger redirection errors, most commonly, they will arise from a lack of SEO expertise when managing 301 redirects leading to wrongly redirected URLs. Other common ways to trigger this error include:
- The URL you redirected to has been changed.
- There’s a redirect chain in place that was too long for Google’s liking – try to max it out at 3 redirects.
- You have redirected from a HTTP version to a HTTPS version of the same page
- There’s a redirect loop in place. This is where URL A points to URL B which points back to URL A.
- There’s a dead URL in the redirect chain.
- Google Bot may have encountered an error when trying to follow your redirect.
How to fix redirection errors?
Solving redirection errors is pretty simple – just make sure that the redirect goes directly to the final URL. You’ll likely have to review all of your current redirected links to find the ones that need to be worked on; while Search Console will show you the problem links, it’s recommended that you audit your site using software such as SiteBulb. This will identify the redirection errors, which pages hold these links, where they’re being redirected to and what their final destination is.
Once you have this information, it’s as simple as finding the link with the redirect and changing it to go directly to the final URL.
Need help with your redirection errors?
If all of this sounds too technical for you or you’d like to have a thorough technical audit performed on your site, submit your details on the technical audit service page to receive a free technical SEO quote.