What is a 301 Moved Permanently Response Code and How to Use It?
A 301 Moved Permanently response code is a type of HTTP status code that indicates that the requested resource has been permanently relocated to a new URL. This means that the original URL should no longer be used and should be updated with the new one. A 301 redirect is useful for preserving the SEO value of an old URL and preventing broken links when a website changes its domain name, structure, or content.
In this article, we will explain what a 301 Moved Permanently response code is, how it works, why it is important for SEO, and how to implement it on your website.
How Does a 301 Moved Permanently Response Code Work?
When a web server receives a request for a resource that has been permanently moved to a different location, it sends back a 301 Moved Permanently response code along with a Location header that specifies the new URL of the resource. For example, if you request https://example.com/old-page.html and the server responds with:
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
This tells your browser that the resource you requested is now available at https://example.com/new-page.html and that you should redirect your request there. Your browser will then automatically follow the new URL and display the content of the new page.
A 301 redirect is permanent, meaning that it should not change in the future. Therefore, your browser will remember the new URL and use it for any subsequent requests to the old URL. This way, you avoid unnecessary server requests and improve your website’s performance.
Why is a 301 Moved Permanently Response Code Important for SEO?
A 301 Moved Permanently response code is important for SEO for several reasons:
- It preserves the link juice of the old URL. Link juice is the SEO value that a URL receives from other websites linking to it. When you use a 301 redirect, you transfer the link juice of the old URL to the new one, which helps maintain your website’s ranking and authority.
- It prevents duplicate content issues. Duplicate content is when two or more pages have identical or very similar content, which can confuse search engines and harm your website’s ranking. When you use a 301 redirect, you tell search engines that the old URL is no longer relevant and that they should index and rank the new one instead.
- It improves user experience and trust. A 301 redirect ensures that your visitors always land on the correct and updated page, which improves their satisfaction and engagement. It also avoids sending them to broken or outdated pages, which can damage your website’s reputation and credibility.
How to Implement a 301 Moved Permanently Response Code on Your Website?
There are different ways to implement a 301 Moved Permanently response code on your website, depending on your web server, hosting provider, or CMS platform. Here are some common methods:
- Using .htaccess file. If you are using an Apache web server, you can use a .htaccess file to create 301 redirects. A .htaccess file is a configuration file that allows you to modify various settings of your web server. To create a 301 redirect using .htaccess, you need to add a line like this:
Redirect 301 /old-page.html /new-page.html
- Using cPanel. If you are using cPanel as your hosting control panel, you can use its Redirects tool to create 301 redirects. To do so, you need to log in to your cPanel account, go to Domains section, click on Redirects, choose Permanent (301) as the type of redirect, enter the old and new URLs, and click on Add.
- Using WordPress. If you are using WordPress as your CMS platform, you can use plugins like Redirection or Yoast SEO to create 301 redirects. These plugins allow you to easily manage your redirects from your WordPress dashboard without editing any code.