Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Jay Lo on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 16, 2019).

301 redirect a URL to slightly different content

Is it Okay to 301 redirect an URL to slightly different content but satisfying the same intent?

I was always thinking it`s a good ideal, but today I read an article


Where John Mueller said:

"We can forward PageRank through 301 and 302 redirects. Essentially what happens there is we use these redirects to pick a canonical. "


"301-redirecting for 404s makes sense if you have 1:1 replacement URLs, otherwise we’ll probably see it as soft-404s and treat like a 404."|

So it seems that 301 should only done with exatly same content?

Let me know your thought,


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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Joshua McAdams: Yes. It`s OK. I do it to slightly unrelated pages and see a bump.
  • Jay Lo: really? Wow, would you say the pointed page at least satisfy the same user intent?
  • Joshua McAdams: Not really. I do a trick. PM me I will tell you.
  • Michael Martinez: Slightly different is okay. All they will do if their algorithms do not accept the redirect is ignore it. You do not incur any risk.
  • Jay Lo: I See, thank you Michael, but in the article it also said that way it might be considered soft 404. Do you think soft 404 of this kind still pose any SEO problem nowadays?
  • Michael Martinez: No problem whatsoever. If people want to ensure value flows through they should redirect old URLs to relevant content. Otherwise do what you think is best for your visitors and don`t worry about what the search engine is doing.
  • Jay Lo: Thank you Michael!
  • Roger Montti: 301`s traditionally lost a bit of PageRank, like a link did. The idea was to stop SEOs from exploiting 301s by redirecting navigational links through a 301, thereby passing 100% PageRank through the redirect.

    This changed at some point and was unannounced until the http to https migration.

    Canonicals are handled the same way.

    301s must be redirected to a URL that is substantially similar otherwise it won`t pass full PageRank.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 16, 2019).

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