Magento 301 Redirect: Everything You Need to Know

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Mia Updated: June 02, 2021

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For webmasters or developers, the 301 redirect is actually not a new term. In fact, it’s an integral part of a process when you want to create a product, category, and custom relocations for any page on your online store.

So what’s a Magento 301 redirect, its benefits, and opportunities for an eCommerce site?

In this post, we will take you through all its aspects. Most importantly, how to create a Magento 301 redirect from the admin panel as well.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

What’s a Magento 301 redirect?

What's a Magento 301 redirect?
What's a Magento 301 redirect?

In essence, Magento 301 redirect is a way to forward bots and web visitors to the new URL. At the same time, the indexes of the old URL’s address will be deleted, and its link equity will be passed to the newly redirected page.

This kind of change is permanent and irreversible. If you overlook Magento 301 redirects, there’s a high chance that visitors will end up with a 404 error or in a more familiar form: Page Not Found.

For those who don’t know, 404 errors can negatively affect your site’s crawling, indexing, as well as Google ranking on different levels.

When to use 301 redirects?

In many cases, marketers will have to use this type of redirect. Most of them involve changing multiple pages at a time, including:

  • Move from an old website to an entirely new domain name without losing its current SEO impact - For example, from “abc.tk” to “abc.com”

  • Merge 2 or more websites seamlessly into one

  • Migrate your site to a new platform - For instance, change from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or from Shopify to Magento, etc.

  • Make changes to your site’s menu, product attribute, or structure update

  • Direct traffic from several URLs of your site to your preferred destination for SEO or marketing purposes

  • Conduct a migration from HTTP to HTTPS

  • When there’re lots of version of the same content (duplicate content) on the website that hurt your rankings on Google

Benefits of 301 redirects for an eCommerce website

As mentioned above, 301 redirects ensure that your website visitors and crawlers won’t land on 404 error (not found) pages when that page’s content is moved to another URL. And those who click on that old link will be automatically sent to the corresponding new page.

Great SEO results you can achieve when using 301 redirects properly are:

  • Keep your web’s visitors engaged by redirecting them from the unused page to the new one with more relevant content

  • Pass on about 95% link equity from the redirected page

  • Suggest to search engines that the old URL is deleted. Most importantly, indicate search engine spiders to remove the old page from their index and replace it with the new one

  • Reduce the negative impact of 404 errors when you remove a link on your site without a 301 redirect. It can seriously cause your page to be dropped from the search engine’s index

  • Loss traffic that comes from the press releases, social media posts, or forum that contains outdated links leading to 404 errors (not found page)

Not only to mention the fact that 404 error has a negative impact on user experience, ignoring 303 redirects on your website can cause some severe problems.

The differences between 301 redirects vs. 302 redirects

The differences between 301 redirects and 302 redirects
The differences between 301 redirects and 302 redirects

Many people misunderstand these 2 redirects regarding sending users and search engines to a different URL from the requested one. Each comes with its own usage purposes.

That being said, search engines sense the different types of redirects and handle them differently.

Selecting the correct redirect type ensures your current rankings and the positive reputation you’ve built via all backlinks and content creation.

301 redirects vs. 302 redirects: Differences in the definition

  • 301 redirect: Used when any page on your site has been permanently moved to a new location. It means that a new page will replace the previous one and is shown in your search results

  • 302 redirect: A temporary redirect that navigates users and search engines to the new page for a limited time until it’s removed. Used when a URL is being changed temporarily

When should you use 302 redirects?

There are times when a web developer uses a 302 redirect instead of a 301 redirect, including:

  • Conduct A/B testing for webpage improvement on functionality or design

  • Collect clients’ feedback on a new page without affecting the web’s current site ranking on Google

  • In the process of updating a webpage but still want to give the web’s visitors a consistent browsing experience in the meantime

  • When a product of yours is temporarily out of stock or seasonal, you will want to redirect it to the nearest alternative to keep customers’ engagement

  • Temporary “special offer” landing pages

The 302 redirects refer to a temporary solution. Web developers use it to make some changes on a webpage without impacting the whole site’s SEO performance.

301 redirects vs. 302 redirects: Impacts on SEO

In cases, you use a Magento 301 redirect:

  • Google will remove their old page from their index, and the old page’s link equity is transferred to the new one. This type of redirect is better for SEO performance than the 302 since it maintains the web’s ranking and prevents search traffic decline as well

  • It should only be used if it is a permanent change. The search engines also need much more time to recognize the Magento 301 redirects, thus probably credit the new page with rankings

  • The content transfer is more complicated when it comes to changing the web’s domain. It takes you a significant amount of time to check them all correctly

In cases you use a Magento 302 redirect:

  • Google remains your original page on its index. No value or link equity is transferred to the redirected URL

  • The search engine will continue to index the old URL and consider the new location as temporary

  • When you use 302 instead of 301 for permanent page transition, link popularity might be divided between 3 URLs, thus hurting their search rankings on Google

If the wrong type of redirect has been set up, search engines may become confused, resulting in traffic loss. In fact, website visitors actually don’t notice the difference between 301 redirects and 302 redirects.

How to create 301 redirects in Magento 2

Create 301 redirects with Magento’s built-in Custom URL Rewrite

Below are 3 easy steps for you to set up 301 redirects on Magento 2 websites.

Step 1: Collect old URLs and create a 301 redirect map

Basically, this step is when you collect and write down all the old URLs and where they redirect to. The action’s purpose is to help you avoid unwanted mistakes.

Most importantly, you can organize your Magento 2 URLs when using 301 redirects more effectively and efficiently. We advise you to write all mapping URLs onto a Google spreadsheet for convenience.

Step 2: Create 301 redirect with Custom URL Rewrites in Magento 2

  • Log in to your admin account on Magento 2

  • Navigate to Marketing > SEO & Search > URL Rewrites > Click on the “Add URL Rewrite” button in the top-left corner

Click on the Add URL Rewrite button to start creating a 301 redirect
Click on the Add URL Rewrite button to start creating a 301 redirect

Magento allows merchants to generate URL rewrite for items, categories, CMS pages, and custom URLs. You can select the URL types needed to redirect from the dropdown list on the settings page.

If you select Create URL Rewrite = For category/ For product/ For CMS page, the system will let you choose a specific category/ CMS page/ product that requires changes.

The settings section of a new URL Rewrite at the store backend
The settings section of a new URL Rewrite at the store backend

Back to the settings of a new URL Rewrite in the Magento store’s backend. Here, enter the required information in the field accordingly, particularly:

  • Choose Create URL Rewrite = Custom

  • Store: Select your wanted store view where you’re about to implement the URL Rewrite

  • Request Path: Enter in this field the URL of the page that you want to use the 301 redirects (the old web page) without the domain name - For instance, your URL is “https://www.example.com/abc.html,” just need to enter “abc.html”

  • Target Path: Fill in the new page’s URL without the domain name, just like the above field. Note: This part will be automatically filled if you select Create URL Rewrite = For category/ For CMS page/ For product earlier

  • Select Redirect Type = Permanent (301)

  • Description (optional): Enter a short description of why you use 301 redirect

  • Once completed, click on the Save button in the top-right corner. You can see the new URL rewrite when returning to the main working screen of Magento’s URL Reviews

The main screen of Magento’s URL Rewrites
The main screen of Magento’s URL Rewrites

Step 3: Conduct Magento 301 Redirect test

To make sure nothing can go wrong, having a test after setting the 301 redirects is essential. You can:

  • Go to your store home page and try to open the old web page

  • Or search for the old URL on Google’s searching bar

If you successfully implement the 301 redirects on that web page, you will be redirected to the new page instead of the original one.

Create 301 redirects with Magento 2 Seo Redirect extension

The all in one SEO solution of Mageplaza
The all in one SEO solution of Mageplaza

For those who’re searching for an automatic solution on handling a ton of 301 redirects at the same time. This module helps your transition to new URLs more smoothly and conveniently.

Notable things about Magento 2 SEO Redirect:

  • Enable the admin to replace an old URL via pop-ups

  • Automatically redirect customers from wrong or old URL to the home page

  • Enable both 301 and 302 redirects at the store’s backend

  • Update the URL redirection in the URL Rewrite information form automatically

In fact, SEO Redirect is a minor feature of Mageplaza’s SEO solution for Magento 2 stores.

Along with its ability to manage and handle 301 and 302 redirects, this module comes with a wide range of other outstanding features focusing on improving SEO performance.

The bottom line!

These are all of the most important things you should know about Magento 301 redirects. We hope this article is helpful for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know. Thanks for reading!

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Mia
Mia
As a content executive at Mageplaza, Mia Hoang understands the value of content marketing lies in the engagement between the customers and companies. Her wish is to bring a unique voice, different perspectives, and new light for every audience.
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