Last updated on 7/28/2016
In a recent Google+ post, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller provided readers with a guide on how Google treats different types of redirects including 301s, 302s, 307s etc. In his post, he covers important topics like long redirect chains, if 302s pass link equity and more.
The following are some of the key takeaways from his post with John’s paraphrased answers in italics and my comments on each answer below:
John: Search engines tend to to index the content (and keep all signals) under the original page.
I’m assuming signals include link equity (PageRank – see below), topical relevance, etc. Also, notice how John says “tend” here – he provides some clarification below.
What about PageRank?
John:It?s simple, either the search engine indexes the content with its signals under the original page or under the destination URL, it doesn?t matter which type of redirect you use.
So, the page that’s ultimately in Google’s index is the page that has retained the authority in the redirect chain.
How Does Google Treat Redirect Chains?
John: We follow up to 5 in a chain (please keep any redirect chain as short as possible), but you can redirect as many URLs on your site as you want at the same time.
If you’re unsure how to find redirect chains, I’d recommend either using Screaming Frog, or the Chrome extension Redirect Path by Aymia
Do 302 Redirects Pass Link Equity?
John: The web isn?t perfect, search engines have to deal with what they find. Sometimes sites use a temporary redirect where a permanent one would be correct, sometimes the other way around.
To provide additional context to this question, the below response is from a question on whether 302s pass link equity asked in a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout:
John: I think there’s a big misconception with 302 redirects being bad for your website and your PageRank and that’s definitely not the case. When we see a 302, we’ll assume it’s a temporary redirect at first. However, if we feel it’s more of a permanent redirect, then we do treat it as a 301. Both of these redirects do pass PageRank.
H/T to Barry Schwartz for originally sharing
The original post is embedded below for your reference:
Wrapping It Up
Big thanks to John for continuing to support the digital marketing community. If you have questions, you can add them to the embedded Google+ post above or leave them in the comments below.
All 30x Pass PageRank
Gary Illyes confirmed in a tweet today that all 30x redirects pass PageRank.
30x redirects don't lose PageRank anymore.
— Gary Illyes (@methode) July 26, 2016