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Meta refresh treated as 301 redirect?
seo99




msg:4239606
 7:53 am on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

According to a blog post by chris moore (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/searchblog/archive/2010/11/30/search-engines-treat-meta-refresh-the-same-as-301-redirects.aspx), search engines now considers meta refresh tag as effective as 301 redirects.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="5; URL=http://support.microsoft.com/newpage.html">

According to chris moore:
Whilst I had previously thought that these types of redirects were not as effective as 301 redirects for informing search engines that a page has moved, it turns out that as long as the delay time is low (0 or a few seconds), then the redirect code is considered the same as a server side 301 redirect code (i.e. the link juice will be passed to the new URL). Longer delays may not be considered the same.


Anybody having any idea, how google/bing handles this?

 

goodroi




msg:4239654
 12:43 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

this is actually old news. for several years some search engines will treat a meta refresh with zero seconds very similar to a 301 redirect. it is not ideal and i always prefer a 301 redirect. sometimes it is the only option.

jeffposaka




msg:4239780
 5:45 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't support them.

Planet13




msg:4239781
 5:47 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't support them


that's ok. google isn't a very significant search engine, anyway...

;)

jeffposaka




msg:4239782
 5:54 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

that's ok. google isn't a very significant search engine, anyway...

;)


yea, they don't drive much traffic :)

tedster




msg:4239816
 7:09 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

According to my data and the word from several Googlers as well, in some situations Google will support meta refresh as if it were a 301 redirect. But you'll never know if your situation is one of the supported ones or not.

jeffposaka




msg:4239820
 7:17 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

According to my data and the word from several Googlers as well, in some situations Google will support meta refresh as if it were a 301 redirect. But you'll never know if your situation is one of the supported ones or not.


We have had a lot of issues where Google ignored meta refreshes. Site users ended up at the right place but Google continued to send traffic to the page with the meta refresh on it. Once we did a server side 301, Google updated their SERPs with the target page and started to send traffic to it.

Yahoo used to honor the meta refresh though, when it used to be a search engine.

pageoneresults




msg:4239822
 7:25 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

META Tags
[Google.com...]

This meta tag sends the user to a new URL after a certain amount of time, and is sometimes used as a simple form of redirection. However, it is not supported by all browsers and can be confusing to the user. The W3C recommends that this tag not be used. We recommend using a server-side 301 redirect instead.


1.1.3 The META Element
[w3.org...]

The following are deprecated HTML examples. The first changes the user's page at page at regular intervals. Content developers should not use this technique to simulate "push" technology. Developers cannot predict how much time a user will require to read a page; premature refresh can disorient users. Content developers should avoid periodic refresh and allow users to choose when they want the latest information.


I would think with all the information that has been published on this element, that folks would not be using it in this day and age. Yes, I understand it is a simple mechanism to redirect users. But, it is deprecated and the authoritative resources for its use say not to use it.

Google recommends a 301. If that is the case, there is a strong chance that is how they treat the element. Its an older method that has become antiquated. It would be in all of the SEs interest to treat it like a 301.

Judah_Ben




msg:4239841
 8:29 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've seen first hand that meta refreshes can cause direct indexing issues with Google. In some cases (maybe all), G will keep the page in the index, but stop updating the listing.

A few months back, I saw a friend's page that hadn't been updated in the G index since a meta refresh had been implemented. G was showing the page in the index with the incorrect title & meta tags for several months until we removed the meta refresh.

Once the meta refresh was removed, the page was re-indexed within 48 hours.

I agree with the other posts (and G), the best way is to use a 301 redirect.

However, in some cases people (clients) prefer the delayed redirect on a page. Does anyone know of a good SEO friendly redirect that can be delayed by 5-10 seconds? Would javascript cause problems?

mirrornl




msg:4239872
 10:28 pm on Dec 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

We had no other choice than to use a meta refresh, and it works as good and faster than a 301 :)

[webmasterworld.com...]
[webmasterworld.com...]

Judah_Ben




msg:4240262
 7:29 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

We had no other choice than to use a meta refresh, and it works as good and faster than a 301 :)

How many seconds was your delay set for?

mirrornl




msg:4240269
 7:35 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

zero

also:
We removed all content from the old url and did put it on the new url.(to avoid possible duplicate content issues) We only have the common message in the body "this page has moved to etc..."
Also we did put the old url itself in the title-tag of the old page,like : <title>(http://www.example.com/example.html</title>
and removed the description

tedster




msg:4240294
 8:36 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I also had success with a zero second meta-refresh when the client's hosing refused make a 301 redirect possible. Google dropped the old domain in a couple weeks.

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