How to fix URLs with 3xx other redirects

How to fix URLs with 3xx other redirects

3xx other redirects issue means that website has pages with 3xx redirects other than 301 or 302.

The importance of the issue

Redirects have huge utility and there is nothing wrong about using them. However, they need to be implemented correctly, otherwise, the SEO success of the site can be severely impacted. The same is true about using multiple redirects.

<…>While Googlebot and browsers can follow a “chain” of multiple redirects (e.g., Page 1 > Page 2 > Page 3), we advise redirecting to the final destination. If this is not possible, keep the number of redirects in the chain low, ideally no more than 3 and fewer than 5.<…>

Google Search Console Help

Another issue is represented by broken redirects – these are links redirecting to dead pages (4XX or 5XX HTTP response code).

Example: Page A (301) –> Page B (404)

Consequently, the final links can’t be accessed by search engine bots and visitors alike. As a result, search engines wouldn’t crawl your site and visitors will abandon it as well.

3xx redirects are predominantly 301 or 302 but there are also less popular ones.

The 303 status code is equivalent in meaning to “see elsewhere” / “see other”. It is rather a notice than a true redirect – in web applications, where it is mostly used, it tells the application to look for the correct answer at a different link.

The meaning of the 304 status is “not modified” – a signal from the server that the page has not been altered since it was last accessed or cached. Hence, it also doesn’t resemble a true redirect.

As stated earlier, 303 and 304 are fairly uncommon. At the same time, 305-308 redirects can be particularly rare.

Substituting with 302 and meta refreshes isn’t a good idea, since, unlike 301 redirects, these won’t pass the rankings and search engine inspection. However, they might be useful, if the webmaster specifically doesn’t want to pass link equity from the old page to the new one.

For more information on each redirect, check Wikipedia entry for HTTP Status Codes.

How to check and fix the issue

Ensure that each link redirects to the appropriate target URL, as intended and that none of the final links in the redirect chain yield a 4xx or 5xx error. Also, ensure that there are no more that 3 redirects in a row in any chain since search engines might simply refuse to follow subsequent redirects.

Detect pages with 3xx redirects

Crawl the website to collect all pages 3xx redirect responses