How to fix redirect chains and loops

Minor technical issues that are ignored can quickly destroy all the hard work you’ve done optimizing your website for search engines. Redirect chain and loop issues are a great example of this. 

A redirect chain is a series of redirects between a requesting URL and its ultimate destination. A redirect loop happens when one URL redirects to another URL, which then redirects back to the initial URL. In its simplest form, a redirect loop is a chain of redirects that never ends. 

Keep reading to learn why redirect chains and loops are bad for SEO and strategies for fixing these types of issues. Let’s get started!

Why redirect chains are bad for SEO

When a redirect loop happens, your browser will give you an error message, and your visitors won’t be able to reach the website. The same holds true for search engines too. 

Ranking signals, such as link authority and relevance, are constantly being passed around in a redirect loop where the final URL never resolves, rendering the process infinite. As a result, essential signals used for ranking are lost. They adversely affect your site’s usability and crawl ability, which hurts your search engine optimization.

Redirect chains and loops slow down crawling

Search engines stop following the redirects and never get to the destination page if they discover they are stuck in a redirect loop. In a single crawl, Google typically only tracks up to five redirect hops. After that, it stops trying to crawl in order to conserve crawl resources and prevent becoming trapped. This reduces your available crawl budget and may result in indexing problems.

Redirect chains and loops cause link equity to be lost

Always remember that a redirect does not automatically transfer all of the page’s authority or link equity. This means that the amount of authority passed from one page to the next can be reduced in as little as one more hop.

Redirect chains and loops slow page loads

Crawl expenditure is wasted because of the increased page load times caused by redirects for users and search engines. When a search engine bot gets a 3xx status code, it must make an additional URL request.

How to fix redirect chains 

First, locate all of the chains of redirects. The next step is to alter the redirect so that it directs to the correct URL for the end destination. To do this you should eliminate any redirects within the chain that aren’t necessary and ensure that there’s only one 301 redirect in place that sends traffic from the originating URL to the target URL.

How to fix redirect loops

Redirect loop issues are the reason for difficulty accessing a website’s administrative dashboard. You are in luck since there are a few tried-and-true actions you can take if you get the error notice:

  • Delete the cookies used by your website.
  • Delete all of your website cached files.
  • Make sure that your redirects are appropriately configured.
  • If you use any WordPress plugins, disable all of them.

Taking these steps should clear up any issues you have with redirect chains and redirect loops that are impacting SEO efforts.

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