Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site?
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Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site?


MATT CUTTS: Hi everybody. It’s Matt Cutts. We’re back for another
round of Webmaster questions and answers. At this point, we have
made over 375 videos to answer questions. So we started to say, well maybe
we should act a little bit like Princess Bride and go
back to the beginning and do a little more tutorial sort of
informative videos to sort of make sure the people understand
all of the really important things that matter,
but that are also sometimes a little more basic rather than
just a random question that somebody asks that we’re doing
a one or two minute answer. So I wanted to talk a little bit
about 301 redirects today. The question is one that
I typed in myself. And it’s, is there a limit to
how many 301 or permanent redirects I can do on a site? How about how many redirects
I can chain together? OK. So let’s go to the whiteboard
a little bit. There’s a bunch of different
ways to diagram what a site looks like. One common one at Google is to
diagram a site like this. Because you’ve got your URL
structure, and then you can have a subdirectory
underneath that. And so you can have individual
pages on the site– all that sort of thing. So let’s talk a little bit
about 301 redirects. The most common case for a 301
redirect is you’re moving from one site to another site. And if you’re doing that, you
can put 301 redirects to go to the root of the new domain. But that’s kind of a waste. Right? If somebody is looking for a
very specific page, and they end up going to the root page
of the new domain, that’s really not as useful. So what we recommend doing is
doing a 301 redirect from the old page location to the new
page location on the new site. And so the question
is about whether there’s a limit to that. Can you do too many
301 redirects? What if I’ve got 100,000
pages on my site? Is there some cap that
says I can’t do a 100,000 301 redirects? And the answer is no. There’s no queue
There’s no cap. There’s no limit that says, OK,
we are only going to look at 10,000 301 redirects from
one site to another site. So that’s kind of
helpful to know. We’ll look at as many pages as
we’re willing to crawl on the old domain. And if we see a 301 redirect,
then we’ll put that in the queue to crawl at the
new location, and we’ll process that. Now just as a reminder, 301
redirects, or permanent redirects, should only be used
when you’re truly migrating for all time in eternity. You’re not ever coming back. If it’s going to be temporary
or you might undo it after a while, that’s a good opportunity
to use a 302, or a temporary redirect. OK. So you’ve got your
301 redirects. It’s totally fine to do
it from every page. In fact, it’s better to do
it from every page to the corresponding new page
on the new site. There’s no limit on the number
of 301 redirects that we’re willing to crawl
within a site. But there is one limit that
you should know about. Suppose you start on one page
and you do a 301 redirect to another page, and then you do
a 301 redirect to another page, and then– you can see what’s coming– you do a 301 redirect to another
page and another page. At what point does Googlebot
sort of stop and get busy and say, you know what? I’m done following redirects. If you can do it in one
hop, that’s ideal. Right? Because then you don’t have to
worry about people getting lost. The latency
is much lower. All that sort of stuff. But we are willing to follow
multiple hops, multiple levels of redirects. At the same time, if you get too
many, if you’re getting up to the four or five hops, then
that’s starting to get a little bit dangerous, in the
sense that Google might decide not to follow all of
those redirects. So there’s no limit per
page or per site. There’s no limit per site on
the number of permanent 301 redirects that we’ll follow. However, there is a limit in the
sheer number of chain of redirect hops that we are
willing to follow. So if you can keep that down
to one or two, maybe three, that’s much better. Once you get five or six
redirects in a row, in a chain, the odds are very, very
low, close to zero, that Googlebot would actually follow
all of those redirect hops to get to the
new destination. So that’s just a very quick
overview of how it works. I hope that explains things
relatively well. And if can do those redirects to
do the granularity of page level to page level, that’s
a great user experience. And the page rank and those
sorts of things should flow relatively well to the
new site as well. And so everything should
go pretty smoothly. Thanks very much.

63 Comments

  • GetFoundOnlineTips

    I love the webmaster videos. Keep those videos coming! An ingenious invention.

    Thanks for the explanation about 301 redirects. As a webmaster it is much quicker to just create a 301 redirect with all old URL's to the new root page of a new site. You explained exactly why it's better to redirect on page level (page by page). That should keep everyone awake.

  • Tobias Ebert

    i dont hear anything starting from 49s till the end, first seconds are fine, very strange, would really like to watch your video with sound :-)!
    (on sgs with android 2.3.3 and latest yt app)

  • Joseph Shaw

    Thanks Matt!

    I want to commend your approach to going back and taking more of an overview in addressing some of the topics lately. It's Extremely Helpful for us webmasters who are developing more experience.

  • Joseph Shaw

    @dcnopp1 301-Redirects are Permanent – You use them when you are moving a page online permanently. 302 redirects are TEMPORARY. You use them when you need to temporarily move a page.

  • Joe Taiabjee

    Thanks Matt!

    I would guess that URL shorteners would also count as hops. You'd often see on Twitter, a t.co link (shortened automatically by twitter) pointing to say, bit.ly (automatically shortened by site links or twitter clients) before jumping to the final URL. Sometimes that final url is bounced again through an analytics tool to measure clicks (like hootsuite), and you're already at 4 with very little effort.

    Does Google recognize that shorteners like t.co or bit.ly are different?

  • Thomas Rosquin

    All right Matt!!! I asked this question 2 days before you posted the Video….Where's my Credit eh??? Its ok…but this does answer my question as no one else in the Universe could.

  • Irfanullah Jan

    I wanted to "clean" my URLs and I had to use chain redirects with 4-5 hops. My traffic decreased by ~80% . It took more than a month to restore. But my URLs look pretty now : like this one: "example.com/financial/ratios/current-ratio"

  • Fetch and Compare

    Hi, I watched a video on multiple 301 redirects and the answer was it was ok if consolidating brands/domains to one site, what about a change in structure to a site to offer price comparison, so 1000 x 301 redirects from old page to new page within same site and domain, is this ok?

  • isitebuild

    I'm converting a static site of 150 pages to a CMS site so will need to create 150 301 redirects. My question…is there any easier way to achieve this?

  • Alice Ralph

    Makes sense. As ever, Google basically have the end visitor in mind – basically they want you to help your users find the information they need as simply as possible. That's what I love about Google – it always seems to come back to great UX, even though it might piss a lot of SEO people off along the way!

  • tph777

    When you upgrade a website that had over 100,000 pages…how can you automate the 301's to go to the correct pages? Completely new nav structure

  • Nin Ja

    Hi Matt, thanks for the interesting Video. But on you answer comes a new question to me.

    What is when i have a WordPress blog and i change links from articles. Because the old ones ar very bad written.

    As example: domain-tld/this-is-my-nice-new-website-about-young-cats/1234/

    I will change the permalink to young-cats.html and make a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page.

    My question is. Can i do this with this page and all other pages without loosing PR and rankings from my pages?

  • Adam Arnold

    Epic sarcasm. I tip my hat to you, sir. (Unless, of course, you didn't think it was blindingly obvious that redirecting people from site to site to site would not sit well with Google).

  • Lope Molina Romero

    LAS POLÍTICAS DE GESTIÓN DE LOS VIDEOS DE LOS USUARIOS SON ERRÓNEAS. USTEDES TRAFICAN CON NUESTROS VIDEOS, Y ESO ES ILEGAL. NUNCA PODRÁN JUSTIFICAR ANTE NINGÚN TRIBUNAL QUE SU POLÍTICA ES CORRECTA. USTEDES ACTÚAN COMO AUTÉNTICOS DICTADORES Y DISCRIMINAN A LA MAYORÍA DE USUARIOS DE YOUTUBE. SEGUIREMOS LUCHANDO PARA QUE UN DIA SEA POSIBLE QUE NOS TRATEN A TODOS CON JUSTICIA Y EQUIDAD!!!

  • Mark Sullivan

    bueno, otra manera de pensarlo, Sra. Molina, es que nunca existiria un plataforma como youtube (y seguir siendo gratis) si no fuera por las publicidades que venden a traves del plataforma. O sea, si tienes un problema tan grande con youtube, tal vez seria mejor crear un plataforma suyo que usted pueda hacer sus propias reglas. asi no tendrias que soportar esta tirania de google.

  • Lope Molina Romero

    Si usted, sr. Mark Sullivan, vasallo de YouTube estĂĄ conforme con las polĂ­ticas de esta "plataforma" serĂĄ porque se beneficia de ello, es decir, SE LUCRA, lo cual me parece estupendo a cambio del servilismo a una "plataforma" que NO ES SUYA, sino de todos los usuarios, y que gracias a nosotros, EXISTE, y no al contrario. Pero no soy el Ășnico que estĂĄ en desacuerdo con las polĂ­ticas dictatoriales de dicha "plataforma". Somos muchos usuarios, contrarios a estas "polĂ­ticas" discriminatorias.Saludos

  • Lope Molina Romero

    Ah!, soy señor, no sra., sr. Sullivan. ¿O debo llamarlo sra. Sullivan? Demuestra falta de CULTURA, al no saber que LOPE es un nombre masculino.
    MĂĄrchese usted a otra "plataforma"…aunque no lo harĂĄ porque YouTube le pagarĂĄ bien por sus "servicios". Usted DISCRIMINA, usted estĂĄ de acuerdo con la "plataforma" YouTube. Usted es servil al servicio de Google. Personas como usted, sĂłlo hacen daño. Haga un favor a la Comunidad de Usuarios de YouTube y vĂĄyase. Se lo agradeceremos [email protected] !

  • Jilly Arbach

    you didn't tell us how to actually do the 301 redirect! the info you gave was really good but i still don't know how to do the 301. this video doesn't point us to a another video that tells us how to!

  • Mike Robinson

    Jilly, that's because it completely depends on your application. Every language (like PHP, ASP, Perl, Ruby, Python, etc) would have their own way to do it and every web server (e.g. Apache, Nginx, IIS, etc) would have their own ways to do it as well. Most likely though if you are moving from one domain to another, you would want to do a redirect at the server level. Just Google it.

  • Graphicxtras.com

    Be wonderful if there was some actual info about 301 redirects, how to implement them on a hosted windows machine instead of the usual vague 'put in a 301 redirect'  (how ?) They are mentioned all over the place, the implementation rarely so.

  • The Real Thing

    Aha, interesting, is the google-bot some kind of animal with it's own life, or why is the pagerank for some domains not transmitted over a 301 redirect for all links?
     I moved 301 with a domain but not a little piece of PR got transported to my new domain, why?

  • Andrey Perepelitsa

    Hello Google Webmaster!  I have a question.  In my case I actually DO want my old website to point forward / redirect old website blog ONLY to new single root redirect domain.   How can I do that because I talked to my hosting company and they only have WildCard option that you're explaining and they said that if I want ALL old url to point out to root directory I need to enter each redirect manually!  Is there faster process to get that done?   Thank you!!!

  • Philippe Roy

    Hopefully not a silly question, but I guess the next logical step in the question is "hoe long do I wait until google knows that Page A was redirected to page B and be able to delete that from the htaccess file?"

    My train of thinking being that down the road, when you once again change that page (as for me, my portfolio is always rotating), you are then not creating a long chain of 301s…

  • Vinolia Mogoswane

    Hi

    First of all i like to thank you so much Mr Matt Cutts for a wonderful video, easy to understand, inspiring , the video is clear and hope it will help everyone who wants to do a 301. I was very confuse to do a redirect for my site forex.lighting untill i watch this perfect video. Thank you again

  • Rick Dellagatta

    Great video thank you. I do have one question. I have 3 sites that provide the same services but in different geographical areas. The page structure is the basically the same. i want to move them all permanently to 1 site . would there be any negative effect of redirecting (page to page as in the video) several sites to the 1 new site?

    Thank you.

  • Matt Rosler

    Hello,

    I am moving all my content from a year old site of domain1 to a new hosted site with domain 2. The transferred articles will now be on the new site but now living under 2 new directories (of "food/desserts" in the example below):

    Example:

    OLD

    http://www.domain1.com/category/chocolate/i-love-chocolate

    to

    http://www.domain2.com/category/food/desserts/chocolate/i-love-chocolate

    1) What is the best way to create a 301 redirect to redirect all the articles within a folder (i.e. "chocolate") on my old site to then live under the new directory structure on the new site?

    2) Ultimately, I want to dispose of hosted site 1 above but if i'm understanding correctly, I need to have that first domain and hosted site up in order for the redirect to work? Is that correct? (Perhaps after a couple of years, I can dispose of that first site?)

    3) That said, will having the same content on domain 1/hosted site 1 AND now domain 2/hosted site 2 effect my SEO?

    thank you,
    Matt

  • Pareto8020

    Why do Google make this so damn complicated for the average user?? There is no .htaccess file visible to even implement this …

  • kenan karaca

    hi, i have changed my pages' url with yoast seo. but i forget to save old urls. then my ranking is suddenly decreased. pls help to 301 redirect my old urls to new….

  • Tauhid Kabir

    URL Canonicalization www or not www how to fixed. like 1. example.com 2. https://www.example.com
    Note: I install ssl lated.

  • Jeremy Turowetz

    These videos are great for me as a full stack dev as well as a resource for website owners at any level of expertise. I really appreciate that you make them.

  • HardStyleGamerz

    Do you need to 301 redirect a construction site (domain on which the website was build on, but not indexed my any search engines) ?

  • GlobalDuniya :

    Matt i am little bit confused. As per your video, we should only use 301 permanant redirect when we want to redirect the page permanantly from one website to another. my question is can we use 301, we older URL for the page is changed to new url follow.

  • Tammy Ohagan

    I have a question. I have a site that I intended to be one subject, however, I got carried away and ventured off to branches of that subject. One particular "branch" needs a site all of its own so I created a new domain for that "branch of information" – I have 13 articles on the 1st domain that need to be moved to the 2nd domain, however when I went to remove them from indexing, and place them onto site #2 I'm finding problems. The problem is Site #1 is the original content owner/creator, when I de-index it from site #1 and copy it to site #2, I checked and now Copyscape is showing it as plagiarized to someone who copied my content to their pages?!?!? – For right now, I simply went back in and canceled the de-indexing and kept them on site #1 until I can find a viable solution that won't get either of my sites penalized. Any thoughts?

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