Google "Strongly" Recommends Not Using Meta Refresh Redirects

Jun 28, 2010 • 8:43 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

In a Google Webmaster Help thread talks about the different types of redirects Google likes and dislikes. I figured, since I just wrote about using redirects for affiliate links, it would make for a nice subtopic.

JohnMu, a Googler, strongly warned against using any type of meta-refresh redirect for any redirects. He said, when redirecting, it should be done on the server side level. Let me quote JohnMu from the thread:

I would strongly recommend not using meta refresh-type or JavaScript redirects like that if you have changed your URLs. Instead of using those kinds of redirects, try to have your server do a normal 301 redirect. Search engines might recognize the JavaScript or meta refresh-type redirects, but that's not something I would count on -- a clear 301 redirect is always much better.

How can you check what type of redirect you are using? SEO Consultants has a nice tool that shows you. You can see, that redirects using a 301 server side redirect to

Server Header Checker

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Get Link Value From Your Affiliate Links


Lou Storiale

06/28/2010 01:42 pm

Putting a few examples of a server 301 redirect would make this a perfect example

Craig Broadbent

06/29/2010 08:16 am

the SEO consultants tool is good for checking server side redirects but won't pick up meta refresh or JavaScript - best to use a debugging tool like Fiddler to pick up all redirects.

Matt L Parks

09/25/2011 03:05 am

 IMO, it sounds like he's talking about people who want Google to find and index the new page they are redirecting to.  With Affiliate links you don't want Google to find them at all.


02/27/2013 07:45 am

Is it "Google" which "Strongly" recommends against meta refresh or just one Google employee?

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