Google Can Forward Ranking Signals Without A 301 Redirect

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Google’s John Mueller says, in some circumstances, it’s attainable to ahead rating alerts from an previous URL to a brand new URL with out a 301 redirect.

This is talked about throughout Mueller’s weekly Google website positioning hangout recorded on June 4.

A web site proprietor submits a query, noting that they’re engaged on a web site that’s modified various URLs with out including 301 redirects instantly.

They ask if there’s a time restrict for implementing a 301 redirect earlier than the absence of 1 begins to affect rankings.

When altering the URL of an current web page, it’s an website positioning finest observe to arrange a redirect from the previous URL to the brand new one so the rating alerts carry over.

This may also help a web page keep its place within the SERPs with its new URL.

It seems that web site house owners will not be fully out of luck in the event that they don’t arrange redirects instantly, as Google is able to forwarding alerts by itself.


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Here’s Mueller’s full response.

Google’s John Mueller on Forwarding Ranking Signals

Mueller tells the location proprietor that Google can ahead rating alerts with out the help of a 301 redirect.

But, in fact, it relies upon.

“It’s tricky because there is no specific time for this, especially because there are different variations of this kind of problem situation that you have here.

In particular if the old content still exists, and you’ve created a copy of that on a new URL, then in a case like that we will treat those two URLs as being part of the same cluster. And we’ll try to pick a canonical URL between those two URLs.

And it can happen that we switch over to your new URL for that. And if that’s the case, then essentially we will forward all of the signals from the old URL to the new URL automatically even without a redirect in place.

In that scenario, probably you will not see a big difference if, at some point later on, you add a redirect. The main difference you would see is that it would be a lot clearer for us that you want the new URLs to be indexed and not the old URLs.

So in that setup, probably you wouldn’t see a ranking change but probably you would see that we would switch over to the new URLs a little bit more consistently.”


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That could also be reassuring to listen to if you end up in the same state of affairs along with your web site, however there are a few ‘ifs’ as to whether alerts will likely be forwarded.

Based on Mueller’s response, it feels like these situations must be met:

  • If a URL is modified, however the content material stays the identical, then Google can ahead the alerts.
  • If Google acknowledges the brand new URL because the canonical model, then it may possibly ahead the alerts.

On the opposite hand, if web page’s content material adjustments together with the URL, then it sounds much less possible that Google will have the ability to ahead the alerts.

In addition, there’s at all times the prospect that Google will see the previous URL as canonical, during which case alerts received’t be forwarded.

Always goal for organising guide redirects slightly than relying on Google. If they’re not arrange instantly, then it’s good to know Google might be able to ahead alerts by itself.

What if the previous web page is deleted? Can Google nonetheless ahead alerts?

Google can’t ahead rating alerts if the supply of these alerts is faraway from the net.

If you delete a web page and republish the identical content material on a brand new URL, then you’ll have misplaced all its alerts.

“In a situation where you delete the old URLs and just add the same content somewhere else on your website, then that’s something where we would essentially, in a first step, lose all of the information we would have about this page because suddenly it’s a 404.

And we would treat the new page as being something new and we would essentially say well there’s a new page here, and we would not have any connection between the old page and the new page.

That’s something where, at some point, we will drop the old page from our index and lose all of those signals. And if you wait too long and add a redirect much later, then those signals are already gone and that redirect is not going to forward anything anymore.

In that situation where you delete things and just move it somewhere else then probably after a certain period of time — I don’t know how long that would be, it depends on the website — you would not see any improvement from adding redirects.

And in a case like that it would, from my point of view, make sense to start adding redirects there just so that you’re sure that if there is any small value still associated with those URLs then at least that is still forwarded over.”


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Hear Mueller’s full response within the video under:

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