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What exactly does this have to do with Link Development? Let's see what we can come up with.
Picture this, you've got this killer website, it's sticky, you're doing things right and everything "appears" to be just fine.
Let's say it is time for annual maintenance and it is discovered that you've got a plethora of links that go through various redirects before reaching their final destination. If you've got pages that have a "lot of links", you may want to pay close attention to how many redirect sequences are taking place.
I was just running a few quality reports on a site and ran into all sorts of 301 > 302 > 200 recursions. I also ran into a few 301 > 302 > 302 > 200. While some of these may have been required due to the UA/IP, I believe many were oversights of the Webmasters.
One of the more common issues I ran into was the www vs non-www challenge. And if there are any variables being passed in that first redirect, it appears that things can get even more trickier at the destination so, double/triple check what is going on with those recursive redirects.
When you're doing all of your internal and external link development, do you pay special attention to the statuses being returned by "all" of your links? Are you performing regular maintenance to insure that the redirect chains within your site are "reasonable" and do not take the bot through a third or even fourth recursion? If you've got anything more than that, I'd call that a Kiss. ;)
As an example, something like this
is going to end up in a 301 > 302 > 302 > 200. It appears to be handled properly but why put the bot through that extra 301 > 302?
Speaking of 302s, what is up with those these days? I mean, I understand their use and see them quite frequently running reports. It's those second 302s that concern me. In layman's terms, you are telling the bot too...
Moved Permanently > Found > Found > OK
Now, depending on what the server is returning at the > Found > Found levels can be somewhat confusing. You've got a 302 which is a temporary redirect. There is also a 303 (treated as 302) and 307 which refine the redirection further. All are relative to temporary redirects. So, what happens at this stage of the recursion?
301 > 302 > 302 > 200
Ya, this is a test, I think. ;)
Client requests A.html
Server responds 301 -> B.html
Client requests B.html
Server responds 302- > C.html
Client requests C.html
Server responds 302- > D.html
Client requests D.html
Server responds 200-OK and sends content of D.html
Client renders content. If the client is a search engine robot, it takes "B.html" as the URL-path to show in search results, since B.html was the destination URL-path of the 301-Moved Permanently redirect response to the request for A.html, and all of the subsequent redirect responses were 302-Found.
Note that a 303, although often treated as a 302, is more like a "Moved-No Comment" response. It intentionally says nothing about whether the content for the requested URL was moved temporarily or permanently.
If the client is a search engine robot, it takes "B.html" as the URL-path to show in search results, since B.html was the destination URL-path of the 301-Moved Permanently redirect response to the request for A.html, and all of the subsequent redirect responses were 302-Found.
except for (maybe) if the 302 is an undelayed meta refresh as described above.
i know it's 3 years old, but...
SEO advice: discussing 302 redirects:
That's where the whole thing falls apart as expired domains showing hosting company pages with a nice "200" or a registrar's domain park page, or worse yet it's fallen into a bad neighborhood or even now hosts malware.
Superficial link checking just scratches the surface and those sites that turned sour that don't want to be noticed return a perfectly fine 200 OK so you have no clue why your pages traffic went away as those pages are being red flagged due to those links.
1. I use Xenu for basic maintenance and check the failures and 301/302 redirects, changing the interdomain 301/302 redirects - ie example.com to example1.com. This runs every month.
2. I wrote a script that logs any html refreshes in the code and logs the page title. This catches some of the ones that Xenu misses. This runs every month about 2 weeks after #1.
3. I look at any questionable titles and then every blank title about every 3 months.
4. We call every listing on a 12-18 month cycle.
5. As we also have addresses to maintain, we use an NCOA update for the US addresses every 6 month. This catches more.
i have seen enterprise site admins essentially employ 404s that forward articles to articles and everything else to site maps after major redesigns.
Ha. Ha. I have an former client that wanted a 404 for any page that needed redirection, regardless of reason; non-existing page, upgrade that required changing structure and moving pages. Made no difference. 404 everything and forward user to Home page with a 7 second delay. No loss was he:))
Xenu is a handy little tool and I like it a lot. The W3C link checker is really nice but maxes out at 150 pages:((