301 Redirect: What Percentage of PageRank is Lost?

This video provides the answer to the ongoing SEO question: “How much PageRank is lost through 301 redirects?” There have been a lot of speculations hovering over this question for a very long time; and those who are really concerned about the effects of using 301 redirects versus regular page links are people who manage online marketing sites. Matt Cutts provided a brief and direct response to the notion that using 301s can decrease a site’s Page Rank by 10%.

But before you go through the highlights of this video, it is important to brush up on your SEO vocabulary:

What is PageRank?

This is an algorithm that Google uses to analyze the relevance or importance of a particular website. Now, websites are ranked from 0 to 10, depending on the volume or amount of inbound links connected to a specific website.

What is a 301 Redirect?

This is described as a specific URL is permanently redirected to a new one. For example: you have an old website and you would like to change and move to a new URL, with the help of a 301 redirect, your website visitors can be redirected to your new web address even if they keyed in your old one.

Highlights of the 301 redirect Video:

Matt Cutts wanted to point out the following ideas:

  • Using a 301 redirect will have the same effect as when you will be using direct links. This means that whether you opt to use 301s or a direct link to lead people to your site, it will still show the same percentage of PageRank loss. Although a specific percentage of loss was not mentioned in the video, it still provided the clarification that online business owners needed.
  • This policy is not permanent. He mentioned that this is the current PageRank policy which may or may not change over time. it is best to keep a close eye on things as these may affect your SEO standings.

To get better SEO Rankings you should:

  • Make sure that you do not use multiple URLs or home page versions that lead to the same page. This would affect your rankings in a huge way. Your link popularity will be split among each of the similar URLs.
  • It is important to have a single main URL instead of 2, this confuses search engines as to which leads to your page. If your original URL that does not have a “www.” on it, and you would like to use a link that has “www.”, be sure that you redirect the old one to the new URL to let the search engines know that they should lead your web visitors to a single homepage.
  • Make sure that you have set up a 301 redirect before migrating to a new URL or domain. This will allow a continuous accumulation of link popularity percentage, thus improving your “Web Reputation.”
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