External Redirection 3xx

When you’re linking to other websites on your page, you’re doing it to provide the reader with more information and value, right? But what happens when the external links on your website are redirected and show your user the External Redirection (3xx) response? We’ll tell you what this means for your website and how you can fix this issue, so keep reading.

What is External Redirection (3xx)?

In the context of our blog posts, we often refer to, quote, or cite other websites as authoritative sources. External Redirection (3xx) is an HTTP response code that indicates the website you’ve linked to has undergone redirection to a different URL. This means the website’s owner has made changes, resulting in a 301 response. Unfortunately, as this alteration occurs on the external website, you have no control over reversing the redirection.

This means that the owner of the website your page points to has redirected the page, and in turn, you’re getting the 301 response. Because this change has occurred on the external website, you cannot fix or undo the redirection.

External Redirection 3xx is often used in conjunction with other response codes, such as 4xx (Client Error) and 5xx (Server Error), to provide more information about the error. However, it can also be used on its own.

Types of External Redirects (3xx)

There are three main types of External Redirection 3xx:

  1. 301 Moved Permanently: The requested resource has been moved to a new location. To access the resource, the client should make a fresh request to the new location.
  2. 302 Found / Moved Temporarily: The requested resource has been temporarily moved to a new location. Once again, the client should initiate a new request to the updated location.
  3. 303 See Other: The requested resource can be found at a different location. To access the resource, the client should send a new request to the provided location.


How External Redirection (3xx) Affects SEO

External Redirection 3xx can harm your website’s SEO. This is because search engines use the HTTP response code to determine whether or not a resource has been delivered successfully. By pointing to a page that has been redirected, you’re making the user’s journey more complicated. It takes your reader more time to get the information they’re looking for. This negatively impacts the user experience on your website and harms your SEO as a consequence.

How to Fix External Redirection (3xx)

To get the best SEO results, all the links on your website need to be valid and have the 2xx status code. This ensures a smooth customer experience, and it means that your website is fully optimized and updated. That’s why you need to keep an eye out for external redirections. 

As we’ve said, you can’t change the redirection itself, but there are two solutions if you find yourself in this situation.

  1. Search the external website for similar URLs you could use as a replacement. Find pages that provide the content you’re looking for and link to them instead of the page that has been redirected. It’s important to find valid links with the 2xx status code.
  2. In case you cannot find such links, the best thing to do is to simply remove the external link altogether.

Even though external redirection can negatively affect your website and harm the user experience, it’s pretty easily fixed. You just have to keep an eye out for these errors and react in a timely manner.

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