Google Strongly Discourages meta-refresh-type Redirects

Feb 6, 2015 - 7:58 am 2 by

redirect signEvery few years, it is important to cover some basic topics and we've covered it in 2008 and 2011, so now in 2015, it still applies.

Do not use meta-refresh-type redirects for communicating to Google that a site or page has moved.

Google's John Mueller said this once again after people have quoted him from years ago. John wrote in a Google Webmaster Help thread:

I'd strongly discourage from using a meta-refresh-type redirect for moving a site. If at all possible, use a 301 redirect.

The interesting part is that he latter added that if you have no choice, it is better than not doing any type of redirect. He wrote:

If this is the only thing you can do, then it's better than nothing. We realize that something things just aren't easy everywhere, and our systems have to deal with that appropriately.

Of course, also follow Googles site move documentation and he specifically called out "don't block the old URLs via robots.txt and make sure the "redirects" are on a per-URL basis."

So if you are going to use a meta-refresh-type redirect, make sure to listen to those last two points very carefully.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

 

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