lucy24 - 10:05 pm on Feb 26, 2013 (gmt 0)
If you've studied the original PageRank algorithm in the "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", the formula is based on a "random surfer" model (yes I know it's changed a lot since then but the basic concept is probaby the same). And the formula has built into it a damping factor ("d") that represents the probability that the random surfer will get bored and navigate directly to another random page rather than click on a link on the current page in their browser. This damping factor is typically set around 85% (or .85) according to the original docs.
Holy ###. Just how old is this algorithm? How many users even know they're being redirected? This isn't about "The page will redirect in X seconds"; it's about any 301 anywhere.
At this point I detoured to Firefox and opened up a Forums page (a different one) knowing that forums always involve some redirection-- to the login page, to and from the "compose post" page and so on. I was hit with a steady blizzard of FF alerts; at some time in the past I must have checked the "Warn me when websites try to redirect" box. (Uhm... This isn't on by default is it? Can't imagine it would be.) It never occurred to me that it also applied to sites within the same domain; guess it should have, since it specifically says "or reload".
Even there, however, the displayed warning only applies to redirects that are coded in the page. Redirects that happen in htaccess before you ever reach the page don't trigger the alert; FF quietly sends in a fresh request.
Query: Overall, what proportion of 301 redirects give the human user the option of not following them? I mean in actual practice, not in browser-prefs-changing theory.