Google: Use 301 Redirects When You Have A 1:1 Replacement

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that you should use a 301 redirect really only when there is a one to one relationship between the URL you are redirecting from and the URL you are redirecting it to.

So if you have a page about product SKU ABC123 and you want to change URLs and redirect it to the new page about product SKU ABC123, go for it. But if product SKU ABC123 is no longer available and you want to redirect product SKU ABC123 to product SKU ABC124, don’t – it is not a 1:1 relationship. 404 the page.

Google said if you redirect pages that aren’t that 1:1 relationship, Google will treat them as 404s anyway.

John wrote, “301-redirecting for 404s makes sense if you have 1:1 replacement URLs, otherwise we’ll probably see it as soft-404s and treat like a 404.”

We’ve covered this before but always good to have a refresher.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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Author: barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz)

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