19 February 2015
There are many influencing factors, both on and off-page, that help improve and optimise your web page to compete for lucrative, high-ranking positions on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). One of the biggest indicators is the amount of ‘good quality’, natural and relevant links to your website that you can build up overtime.
However, when it comes to refreshing or redesigning your website if you move, delete or rename existing pages as part of the process, those links (and individual’s bookmarks) to your web pages will be broken. This is turn will have a negative impact on your website’s SEO and result in a poor user experience. That’s why you should ensure you maintain ‘SEO Continuity’ by configuring your web server to tell search engines like Google that a page has moved. This will also provide a seamless experience for the visitor.
When a visitor requests a web page the server it is hosted on sends back a response. This is known as the HTTP Status Code.
A 200 status code suggests everything is ‘OK’ and that the request was successful. Whereas a 404 means there was an error and that the page was not found.
Implementing a 301 status code on your server (also known as a permanent redirect) will indicate that the page being accessed has permanently moved to a new location. Resulting in fewer 404s.
This search engine friendly redirect not only maintains referrals and avoids frustrated visitors, but also helps preserve approximately 95% of the PageRank or ‘link juice’ passed to that page by the links from third-party websites.