How to Fix URLs with Meta Refresh Redirect

How to Fix URLs with Meta Refresh Redirect

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Meta refresh redirect issue means that URL applies forwarding with the help of a tag <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10″>.

The Importance of the Issue

Such forwarding was used for “Black Hat SEO.” Historically, search engines started treating it negatively.

<…>I’d strongly discourage from using a meta-refresh-type redirect for moving a site. If at all possible, use a 301 redirect. For example, you can’t use the change-of-address tool if you don’t use a 301 redirect. The W3C has also been discouraging meta-refresh-type redirects since over a decade (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-CORE-TECHS/#auto-page-refresh ).<…>

John Muller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Google Search Console Help

The main pitfalls of using such forwarding include:

  • a search engine might index the wrong page instead of the one you want indexed;
  • the method might be treated as “black” with further penalization;
  • it might cause a negative user experience, as the user cannot control forwarding and prevent oneself from landing on another page.

How to Check the Issue

Using any browser is enough to check the issue. Open the source code of the flawed page. To do this, click the right mouse button at any spot of the page and choose “browse the code” option, or apply an online tool https://codebeautify.org/source-code-viewer.

Find the tag <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10″>. The presence of such code segment points to an issue at this page.

Online services can simplify your task. For example, Sitechecker can identify pages containing URLs with meta refresh redirects.

Meta Refresh Redirect

Perform a site audit and get a list of pages with URLs using forwarding through the <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10″> tag.

Meta Refresh Redirect List

How to Fix This Issue

Delete the tag <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10″> and apply redirect 301 for forwarding to the right page. Check inner links, they must lead to the page a user is forwarded to from the current one.

Example:

Before forwarding

Page A link to -> bad Page -> 301 redirect to ->PageB.

After forwarding 

Page A link to -> Page B.

Detect pages with meta refresh redirect

Crawl the website to collect all pages with meta refresh redirect

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