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Google's help guide on redirects and Google Search updated

Google said it has “significantly expanded” the help guide it has for how Google Search handles various forms on redirects. The redirects and Google Search help document use to be a few paragraphs long, but now it goes into much greater detail.

What is new. The old page had general advice on the importance of using server-side 301 redirects when communicating to Google Search that a page has moved. It also linked to some guides on how to set up those redirects on Apache and NGINX servers. That was the bulk of it; for comparison, here’s a screenshot of the old page.

Google has expanded this document to include much more robust sections on why redirects are important and how they are handled for each type of redirect. This includes:

  • Permanent redirects
    • 301
    • 308
    • meta refresh
    • HTTP refresh
    • JavaScript location
    • Crypto redirect
  • Temporary redirects
    • 302
    • 303
    • 307
    • meta refresh
    • HTTP refresh
  • Server side redirects
    • Permanent server side redirects
    • Temporary server side redirects
    • How to implement these types of redirects on Apache and NGINX
  • meta refresh and its HTTP equivalent
    • Instant meta refresh redirect
    • Delayed meta refresh redirect
  • JavaScript location redirects
  • Crypto redirects
  • Alternate version of a URL

More documentation. This revamped redirects documentation comes shortly after Google published the new guide to HTTPS status codes and DNS/network errors.

Why we care. Having these clear and detailed guidelines around how Google Search handles various redirects is excellent. You can now be more informed on how your server and development team should implement certain redirects in various situations. This should be another go-to guide for your team when implementing redirects.


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