URL Forwarding (sometimes known as URL Redirection) is a technique which can be used to redirect a domain to another URL which is either too long or too hard to remember for a web user. The URL redirections types are represented by a numeric code say:301,302,303,410. These numbers refer to the HTTP Status Code returned by the server for a given URL.
Basic URL Redirection Types:
There are 4 types of URL Redirections:
- Permanent redirection: 301 - A 301 redirect tells the search engine that the page has moved permanently to the new URL. The Search engines should change their index to use the new URL. When you redirect your pages, you should always use a 301 http server redirect. This tells the search engines that the redirect is permanent and that they should change their index to use the new URL. Spammers use other types of redirects (HTTP 302 redirects and meta refresh), so they are not a good idea to use.
- Temporary redirection: 302 – A 302 redirect tells the search engine that the move is only temporary, and you may decide to show content at the original location in the future without a redirect. The search engine should remove this URL from the index. Many spammers use 302 redirects to fool the search engines. HTTP 302 redirects are for temporary redirects. The only time you should use them is for redirecting ugly URLs to more user-friendly ones. This tells the search engine that the ugly URL should not be removed from the index, because the user-friendly URL is just to make the URL palatable. Keep in mind that many spammers use 302 redirects to fool search engines. So be judicious in your use of them.
- Redirection: 303 – In contrast to the 301 and 302 redirects, the 303 redirect is not used for making a substitute reference for the originally requested URL. This status code is used for the redirection of web applications to a new URL, particularly after an http post has been performed. This response indicates that the correct response can be found under a different URL and should be retrieved using a GET method. The specified URL is not a substitute reference for the original resource.
- Gone status code: 410 – It indicates that the page has been removed and the URL is permanently unavailable. The 410 error also indicates that the Web server has no forwarding address for the URL, so can provide no redirection to the new Web server. This condition should generally be considered permanent. If the Web server does not know, or has no way of knowing, whether or not the condition is permanent, the status code 404-Not Found should be used instead.