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301, 302s and <link rel="canonical">

How do redirects transfer "juice" to canonical URLS?

     
9:41 pm on Jan 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So, I have "campaign tracking" urls for "solicited" links, which use things like.

domain.com/campaign1
domain.com/campaign2

Which redirect to something like

domain.com/page.asp?pn=1&tracking_param=1
domain.com/page.asp?pn=1&tracking_param=2

But the "canonical" url is:

domain.com/page/1

Now, theoretically, the "link juice" from both of those 301 should be transferred to the canonical url, so that whenever the page is indexed, the Search Engine know that's it's really looking at "domain.com/page/1"

BUT - the platform I'm using insists on doing a 302 to "domain.com/campaign1/" before it 301s to the actual page.

My understanding is that 302 redirects do not "transfer" the ranking like a 301 does (in other words, it assumes that that "domain.com/campaign1/" and "domain.com/campaign1" are in fact different places altogether. (Since they are not, this would be a bad thing.)

Of course, the wrinkle here is that the page that I ACTUALLY want indexed is only referenced by the <link rel="canonical"> and never actually landed on.

How should I implement this so that the canonical url is always the one indexed?

My thoughts on this are that I want all the redirects to be 301 in these cases.

Yours?

3:26 pm on Jan 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], StephenP!

the best solution is to use your server's rewrite module to externally redirect (301) your initial request to the canonical url and bypass the "platform's" 302 redirect.
then if your platform needs to see a url like example.com/page.asp?pn=1&tracking_param=1 do that with an internal rewrite.

8:20 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Try to get your platform to change the way they do redirects or switch platforms. Using 302 for redirects is just bad coding and I would not trust a platform that did this.