Are there thoughts on the meta refresh tag? I know, I know, not the best route and not SEO friendly has been the discussion in the past but I came across some articles that if the meta refresh is set to "0" then it is treated like a 301 redirect? Actually I wanted to resurface an old article on Webmaster World: [webmasterworld.com...] where there was a debate on this topic. Are there any SEO's seeing this to be true? Also, now that Google and Bing utilize the canonical tag, couldn't a webmaster put a canonical tag AND a meta refresh tag on a webpage, the canonical pointing to the preferred URL for the SERPs and the meta refresh redirecting the user to the right page via entering the proposed URL in a browser?
I'm in a position where using 301's is not an option for the whole site (but a few pages will not be a problem). Any thoughts on the meta refresh would be appreciated!
If you have still the page live on your server you can use meta refresh tag, but please note it do not mention anywhere that it is permanent or temporary. If the page has been removed you have no choice other than a 301 redirect as there is no page to use meta refresh. IMHO if a meta refresh is used for a long time it should be considered as 301, but who knows what search engine bots think about this. There is no any official statement from the SEs about meta refresh tag and how they think about it.
Any thoughts on the meta refresh would be appreciated!
Some accessibility and usability problems for older browsers [w3.org...]
You cannot tell how SEs treat it really and what they'll do in the future. There are hints these pages are treated as 302 by some SEs and 301 by others and I don't know how they perceive content of the page with the meta-refresh.
It also depends on the implementation. Some cases could justify its use but I don't think is a good replacement for server side redirect headers.