302, 301, 303
Sometimes you know something and it just slips out of your mind. You know you know it, you just lost it somewhere in the back of your memory. Well, this is the feeling we had this week when Google’s John Mueller reminded us about redirects and not-index pages.
Responding to a question on Twitter John flagged up that Google (and also Bing) don’t index redirects. So if you’re redirecting from website.com/1 to website.com/2 Google won’t spend any time reading the content on website.com/1, they will only read what is on website.com/2.
This is common sense, and we already knew it. But we didn’t know we knew it. You also shouldn’t confuse not indexing a page, with it not appearing on the SERP. Using the example above website.com/1 may still be listed on the search engine results page. So the address may still exist on Google, but Google isn’t reading the content from that address anymore internally.
Bing Works exactly the same way, and will not index pages that are redirected. Including 302 redirects. So even temporary redirects will cause a page to not be indexed. Which, again, we think we knew. Or at least we assumed that was how it happened. But now we know for sure. If you don’t want your users to see the content of a page and use a redirect to send them elsewhere, Bing will take the hint and ignore the content too.
Are there any well known SEO facts that you’ve been reminded of recently? Did you forget that Alt-Tags were a thing? Have you been writing 300 character meta descriptions for the last year? We’d love to hear which SEO tips have slipped your mind.
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