That is talked about throughout Mueller’s weekly Google search engine marketing hangout recorded on June 4.
A web site proprietor submits a query, noting that they’re engaged on a web site that’s modified a lot of URLs with out including 301 redirects straight away.
They ask if there’s a time restrict for implementing a 301 redirect earlier than the absence of 1 begins to influence rankings.
When altering the URL of an present web page, it’s an search engine marketing greatest follow to arrange a redirect from the previous URL to the brand new one so the rating alerts carry over.
This might help a web page preserve its place within the SERPs with its new URL.
It seems that web site homeowners are usually not utterly out of luck in the event that they don’t arrange redirects instantly, as Google is able to forwarding alerts by itself.
Right here’s Mueller’s full response.
Google’s John Mueller on Forwarding Ranking Signals
Mueller tells the positioning proprietor that Google can ahead rating alerts with out the help of a 301 redirect.
However, in fact, it relies upon.
“It’s tricky because there is no specific time for this, especially because there are different variations of this kind of problem situation that you have here.
In particular if the old content still exists, and you’ve created a copy of that on a new URL, then in a case like that we will treat those two URLs as being part of the same cluster. And we’ll try to pick a canonical URL between those two URLs.
And it can happen that we switch over to your new URL for that. And if that’s the case, then essentially we will forward all of the signals from the old URL to the new URL automatically even without a redirect in place.
In that scenario, probably you will not see a big difference if, at some point later on, you add a redirect. The main difference you would see is that it would be a lot clearer for us that you want the new URLs to be indexed and not the old URLs.
So in that setup, probably you wouldn’t see a ranking change but probably you would see that we would switch over to the new URLs a little bit more consistently.”
That could be reassuring to listen to if you end up in an identical scenario together with your web site, however there are a few ‘ifs’ as to whether alerts can be forwarded.
Primarily based on Mueller’s response, it feels like these situations have to be met:
- If a URL is modified, however the content material stays the identical, then Google can ahead the alerts.
- If Google acknowledges the brand new URL because the canonical model, then it will probably ahead the alerts.
Alternatively, if web page’s content material adjustments together with the URL, then it sounds much less seemingly that Google will have the ability to ahead the alerts.
As well as, there’s all the time the prospect that Google will see the previous URL as canonical, through which case alerts gained’t be forwarded.
All the time goal for establishing guide redirects relatively than relying on Google. In the event that they’re not arrange straight away, then it’s good to know Google could possibly ahead alerts by itself.
What if the previous web page is deleted? Can Google nonetheless ahead alerts?
Google can’t ahead rating alerts if the supply of these alerts is faraway from the net.
For those who delete a web page and republish the identical content material on a brand new URL, then you should have misplaced all its alerts.
“In a situation where you delete the old URLs and just add the same content somewhere else on your website, then that’s something where we would essentially, in a first step, lose all of the information we would have about this page because suddenly it’s a 404.
And we would treat the new page as being something new and we would essentially say well there’s a new page here, and we would not have any connection between the old page and the new page.
That’s something where, at some point, we will drop the old page from our index and lose all of those signals. And if you wait too long and add a redirect much later, then those signals are already gone and that redirect is not going to forward anything anymore.
In that situation where you delete things and just move it somewhere else then probably after a certain period of time — I don’t know how long that would be, it depends on the website — you would not see any improvement from adding redirects.
And in a case like that it would, from my point of view, make sense to start adding redirects there just so that you’re sure that if there is any small value still associated with those URLs then at least that is still forwarded over.”
Hear Mueller’s full response within the video beneath:
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