Websites and pages change locations, just like their owners do. The process of moving a portal can share similar problems with changing the place of residence. For example, you’d want others to know how to reach you. And that’s just as crucial for online portals, especially so if you’ve already built a solid backlink base. How to change the URL of the website, but remain at the top SERP? We have an answer! You should use proper redirect strategies and redirect checker tools.
What is a redirect, and what are its most popular types? How important are URL checker tools for SEO? This article intends to answer all of these questions, one at a time.
Stay until the end to find out about best redirect checkers for analyzing individual URLs, as well as for checking bulks of links.
What Is a Redirect?
Picture an owner of a large and well-known website. For some reason, he needs to move his website to another server or domain. However, he has built a large amount of website traffic, as well as a massive web of backlinks.
Redirect is the process of sending users and search engines to a different website address instead of the one they previously requested. That way, people won’t get a 404-error page when they attempt to visit an old URL. Instead, they’ll end up visiting a new page.
Thus, website owners can keep all of the user base and their well-earned search engine positions. However, they need to use proper redirect checker tools to identify and fix broken links. But we’ll talk about that later.
Redirect (HTTP Status Code) Types
Redirects are divided based on the HTTP status code and link equity. Let’s look at the most popular types of these codes and key differences between them.
301 (moved permanently)
HTTP status code 301 is a permanent redirect between URLs. It’s also the most useful type of redirect for SEO purposes. Why?
Google search engine tends to prioritize it more than temporary redirects. Therefore, 301 is the best way to transmit the link equity (backlink strength) from one website address to another.
302 is a similar type of redirect in terms of how it works. In theory, it should work just as same as the 301 code for SEO. On practice, however, search engines treat it as a temporary link that transmits not nearly as much link equity.
We recommend that you use 302 code if you want to redesign or update parts of the portal. Additionally, it’s useful for testing out new pages.
303 (see other)
303 works as a sort of a “waiting room.” You probably encountered 303 redirects quite often during online transactions (when you see a screen that asks you to wait for the next page to load).
307 (moved temporary)
In simple terms, the HTTP status code 307 is equal to 302, except its used for HTTP 1.1 compatible servers. This type of code also doesn’t pass as much link equity as the 301 code.
To sum it up, a permanent 301 code offers the best outcome in terms of SEO. It’s the optimal type of redirect for various purposes, like when you want to migrate a website while retaining SERP.
How Important Are Redirect URL Checker Tools for Websites?
The majority of domain owners have to face URL redirects in one form or the other. This could be because you have to move your portal to another domain or do a complete site redesign.
In any case, it’s crucial to check URL redirects to make sure that you’ve set them up correctly. Here are the main reasons why:
- These tools allow you to analyze redirect chains effortlessly. 301 and 302 checkers can help identify massive redirect chains (series of URLs that link to other redirects). Why is it crucial? Because the more transitions the chain holds, the less appealing it becomes for search engines. Massive chains can also reduce your site’s page load speed, which is even worse! Websites tend to lose approximately 12% of conversions for every extra second of load time. However, with redirect checkers, you can identify and optimize links like that pretty quick.
- URL checkers can spot redirect loops. You wouldn’t want potential visitors to encounter a dead end instead of the landing page. URL checkers are very handy for finding these loops so you can fix them right away.
- They can save you from malware-infested or phishing websites. Don’t want to risk going to a suspicious website? You don’t have to! With URL checkers, you can see where the link leads without exposing yourself to dangers by visiting it. That way, you can avoid phishing or fake portals.
If URL redirection isn’t set up correctly, you risk losing search engine ranking and potential visitors, which is why it’s crucial for SEO. To ensure that your website doesn’t miss any traffic and revenue from bad links – you need to use 301 checker services.
But which tools are the most useful out of the bunch?
Top 3 URL Checkers for Individual URLs
We should mention that there are plenty of ways to check URL and redirect status. In this article, we’d like to divide all URL checkers into two types:
- URL checkers for analyzing individual links
- Bulk redirect checkers that can test several addresses at once
Let’s start with tools that can track individual URLs.
1. Redirect Tracker (by Website Planet)
Redirect Tracker is a free service by Website Planet that’s good for analyzing individual ULRs. How does it work?
This tool is as straightforward as it gets. Just copy and paste the name of the URL you’re interested in and click “Track URL.” It’s a good feature for SEO experts and website builders, as well as for users who want to check suspicious links before following them.
2. SEO Redirect Checker (by SEO Review Tools)
As you can assume from its name, SEO Redirect Checker aims at online marketers who want to boost their domain’s search engine appeal.
This tool analyzes HTTP headers to ensure that no redirects lead to a loop. SEO Redirect Checker also tells about the types of the code (301 or 302) and points to chains that require optimization.
The tool is free, though you can sign up if you want to get rid of the CAPTCHA.
3. Redirect Detective
Another fantastic free URL checker which displays information visually. With Redirect Detective, you can examine the number and types of redirects for one link. However, this tool has additional benefits.
Redirect Detective can help you check the domain’s legitimacy, avoid harmful sites, and to test if the cookies are set correctly.
The best thing about this redirect checker is its presentation. We recommend you checking it out to see how it looks.
3 Redirect Checker Tool for Bulk Checking
Now, its time to look at the services that can check numerous URLs at once.
Do you need to analyze up to a hundred URLs at once? HTTPStatus allows you to check a huge number of links for response headers, status codes, as well as for chains and loops.
It’s a handy solution for SEO professionals. And it doesn’t only analyze a considerable number of links so you can optimize them. HTTPStatus offers insight into how search engines perceive these pages due to a wide range of settings and options. The reports are downloadable as CSV files. By the way, you can use this tool at no cost.
HEADMasterSEO is a powerful bulk URL checker that’s available as a desktop application for PC and MAC.
Image of HEADMasterSEO tool (taken from Software.Informer).
This app can check up to 500 URLs simultaneously for redirects, response time, status codes, and HTTP heads. HEADMasterSEO presents all data in a visually appealing and understandable way. It’s possible to export reports in CSV format. As the name suggests, this tool aims at website owners and marketers who desire to boost SEO.
With HEADMasterSEO Pro, you can check up to 6 million links at once, which makes it one of the best bulk redirect checker apps out there.
3. HTTP 301 and 302 URL Redirect Chain Checker (by Visio Spark)
This 301 and 302 Redirect Chain Checker can analyze up to 100 domains at once. It’s quite in-depth because it can examine each of those URLs for up to 10 transitions. And, believe us, having more than 5 redirects for one link is terrible for search engine appeal.
The tool offers information about the type of the HTTP status code, a total count for each redirect, and URLs that these redirects lead to. By the way, this tool is also free.
With URL checker tools, you can make sure that all of your redirects send visitors to the desired website. Thus, you won’t have to worry that moving to another domain will hurt your SEO or that you can search engine ranking.
What redirect checker services do you use to analyze 301 and 302 URLs? Feel free to share your thoughts below!