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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

Redirects using a Meta refresh

Loud Interactive informs you that the current URL employs a meta refresh for redirection purposes.


Why is this important?

A Meta refresh is an elementary page redirection method, often utilized when HTTP redirects cannot be deployed. Nevertheless, its efficacy is questionable, as search engines may not adhere to the meta refresh directives, and the passage of link equity is not assured.


Moreover, it results in a suboptimal user experience, usually marked by a five-second pause accompanied by instructions like "If you are not redirected in five seconds, click here."


Furthermore, it may lead to indexation of both the initial and destination URLs, especially if the original URL possesses greater PageRank.

Loud Interactive advises switching to a 301 HTTP redirect, in alignment with Google's guidelines.


What does the Optimization check?

This Optimization appears for any internal URL that includes a meta refresh tag within the <head> that delineates a target URL.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:


The Optimization would be activated for this URL if the following meta refresh redirect resides in the head:

<!doctype html><html lang="en">  <head>    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=https://example.com/page-b" />    <title>Page A</title>    ...  </head>  <body>...  </body></html>


How do you resolve this issue?

Recognize that this Optimization is an 'Insight'; it may not compel immediate action but aims to draw your attention to a particular aspect, rather than flagging a definite issue requiring remediation.


The optimal solution is to eliminate the meta refresh and deploy a 301 permanent redirect. A 301 redirect is executed server-side, as opposed to client-side, and is widely acknowledged as the preferred redirection method.


Nevertheless, if server-side redirects are beyond your control, the meta refresh is unlikely to significantly affect your site's crawling and indexing, especially if such URLs constitute a minor fraction of the site.


It is important, however, that redirecting pages do not form an integral part of the site structure. They should not attract internal links; instead, links should point directly to the ultimate destination URL.


Address internal redirects by identifying and updating all links currently directed at the redirecting URL to target the new destination URL.


How do you get more data from Sitebulb?

Loud Interactive suggests heading to the URL List where you'll find the 'URL Details' button for individual URLs, revealing redirect chains showing final destination URLs with a 200 status code.


Additionally, examining the Internal Links is necessary to ensure they point at the destination URL:

Performing redirect management individually is feasible, but handling them collectively is more efficient by exporting the necessary data.


In the URL List, by selecting the green 'Export Optimization Data' button, an export will be generated.


The export output will provide all vital details for resolution, including example links that guide to the redirect, and clarification on whether the links are navigational or contextual.

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