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Why 301 is your favourite number (if you´re into SEO)

The last "espresso" was about the importance of good content for search engine optimization. But there is a formal trick that you should know and make use of, namely the avoidance of so-called temporary forwarding. If you don’t make use of that your Google placement might take a nosedive.

YOU MUST FULFILL THESE CRITERIAS!

The following three aspects outline the problem:

  1. For the majority of all websites, the homepage is not in the root directory (e.g. “www.mywebsite.de/”), but technically on a subpage (e.g. “www.mywebsite.de/startsite/” or “www.mywebsite.de /startsite.html“)
  2. In order to get the best search engine optimization you need to get good external links to your own site ("off-page optimization".). That’s the most important thing. But if a foreign source refers to my website, without naming the exact bottom, my server will forward the request internally to the appropriate subpage.
  3. For this internal redirect there are different possibilities from a technical standpoint - and for Google it is enormously important that these are used, otherwise the link is worthless and the off-page optimization is wasted.

    Specifically, the forwarding must be done with the so-called status code "301" ("Permanent Redirect").

OK ... DOES MY WEBSITE MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS?


What does that mean, or what do I have to do to ensure this for my website?
First, you can simply test the actual state, e.g. by putting the URLs in question into an online tool like https://httpstatus.io/.
As a result a chain like “301 -> 200” or “301 -> 301 -> 200” should appear.
However, if a “302” or “307” pops up somewhere, then there is an urgent need for optimization!


WHAT TO DO IN CASE THERE IS SOMETHING TO DO?

One could first ask for the “why”, but this leads to being stuck in discussions on the web.

The more important, concrete question is “What to do?”
In order to answer this you’ll see our current best practice here:

  1. By installing the TYPO3 extension “shortcut_statuscodes” we first allow the editorial influence of the redirect. (Is this not available for you yet? Our support will be happy to help.)
  2. In addition, the editors have to get involved: The internal forwarding, which is stored in the TYPO3 via page type “reference” (“Shortcut”), must operate in the mode “Selected page” (i.e. not “first sub-page”.)

As a result, TYPO3 will provide this forwarding with the desired status code 301. Done!

DETAILS “FOR ADVANCED” ...

For those who want to know more, here are the following notes: The royal road is to renounce the internal forwarding and to store content directly on the root page (from the point of view of SEO).
At least when it comes to multi-lingual appearances, however, this approach often reaches its limits.

In addition, there are alternative ways to force the "301 redirect" - e.g. for example, a language switch like bm_locate or an apache redirect might already do this.

It should also be noted that internal redirects do not take place on the root side only, but often also in menu top-points without own contents (ex.: menu item 1. Level refers to the first contained menu item of the 2nd level.)

And another "related" SEO tip: the number of redirects is important as well, but it has a much lower priority. It would be ideal, of course, not to need any redirect (compare above "Royal road"), but just one is quite ok. But there are often negative examples like

and these not only cost browser performance, but also "lead to devaluation" ...


…or not?

A big caveat with big question marks should not go unmentioned: According to unofficial statements, Google ignores the 301 topic recently. Details can be found here, for example https://moz.com/blog/301-redirection-rules-for-seo – along with all the reasons why the above is still valid.

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