How to fix URLs with redirect chains

How to fix URLs with redirect chains

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A redirect chain occurs when there is more than one redirect between the initial URL and the destination URL.

Why it is important

Redirects might impact how Google crawls the site which can, in turn, lead to poor indexing. Too many redirects can cause Googlebot to even give up on the page. Obviously, multiple redirects also affect user experience by impacting the browsing speed.

<…>Avoid chaining 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. Chaining redirects adds latency for users, and not all browsers support long redirect chains.<…>

Google Search Console Help

How to check and fix the issue

Redirect chains could be created accidentally and unknowingly, especially when dealing with big sites. Having redirects between the following links isn’t an issue: A–>B  and B–>C or X–>Y  and Y–>Z. But as soon as you try to redirect URL C to URL X, you suddenly create a chain with 4 redirects and indexing on URL X might fail or this link could be even removed from the index altogether.

Therefore, one should examine the redirects for potential long chains and consider better redirection strategies with fewer intermediary steps. Ideally, the redirect target of the first URL should be the final destination URL.

Take care to not just remove redirects of intermediary pages since there could be other places linking to this URL. If redirects are removed without substituting with alternate strategies, expect broken links and 404 errors.

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