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Why does Google Webmaster Tools say "empty redirects"?

 4:02 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

How accurate is G Webmaster Tools info on redirects. I changed a bunch of part numbers, and set up 301 redirects to the new urls. Webmaster tools is telling me that I have a bunch of "empty redirects" and that they were "not followed."

Can someone please tell me if this is accurate or not? Cause if I run a header status check on any of these urls Google doesn't like, the tool shows that a proper 301 permanent redirect is implemented along with the redirected url.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:47 pm (utc) on May 5, 2008]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]



 6:46 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Lightguy

I am having the exact same issue with Google indexing a phpbb forum of mine - I have about 200+ "empty redirects" and have no idea what is wrong and everything on the site seems ok?


 7:03 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmm, I wonder if it is a google webmaster tools error or what. I am not presenting my user with the redirected page. I present them with a clickable link to the redirected url. Are you doing the same?


 6:06 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

We just migrated one of our sites from a custom CMS with crappy urls like ?parameter=23&parameter2=47 to a new CMS with urls like /keyword/keyword-phrase.

I added 301's for all the old pages (there was only about 100) and google is removing them from the webmaster tools 404 listing (Not Found) slowly but surely.

Are yours showing in the "HTTP errors" or "Not found" section?


 6:23 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its weird, some go under NOT FOUND, some go under ERRORS in sitemap, than the majority say EMPTY REDIRECT ? But my redirect is setup properly and works when tested with a header check also.


 6:42 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)


Reading up on this a little this may help in the solution to the problem.
From some reads the problem is in your .htaccess file I searched and found some discussions on this so you may want to as well but the issue is in the .htaccess file somewere it is wrong and causing the issue.

I am betting Google is right and letting you know to find the issue.


 6:51 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I actually do not use htaccess, i use IIS. I am doing my redirect like this.

IF !EMPTY(pcnewitemno)
oHeader = CREATE("wwHTTPHeader",Response)
oHeader.setprotocol([HTTP/1.1 301 object permanently moved])
Response.WriteLn([<html><meta http-equiv="refresh"content="0;url=http://www.mysite.biz/moreinfo.int?itemno=]+pcnewitemno+[ ></html>])


 7:29 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Is the folder is empty your redirecing?


 9:14 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Folder? Im redirecting to a url?


 9:42 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

The empty redirect message means:

1. the requested url is returning a 301 redirect status code in the server header
2. the server header does not include a line with the new "Location:" url for the requested content.

Note that the server header is not the same as the <head> section of the page's source code - they are two different critters altogether.

This means that writing a few lines containing a meta refresh into the page's <head> section is not the same as returning the new "Location:" in the server header. Because there's a 301 http status in the server header, your server will never give googlebot the original url's content - and that's where your script is writing the lines that contain the meta refresh.

Since you are using IIS, I would suggest discussing the technical details of a 301 redirect in our IIS forum [webmasterworld.com]. The specifics can vary depending on the version of IIS and whether you have admin level access.

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