Redirects are an entirely necessary element of website management, to the point where it is extremely rare that you audit a website which has no redirects at all.
From a user perspective, redirects are generally not that bad, assuming the user ends up on the correct destination page eventually. But they do add some additional time when loading the page, which is not a good thing, and when you end up with big chains of redirects it is most definitely a bad thing.
From a search engine perspective, internal redirects are sub-optimal. They force the crawler to request additional pages, which essentially means it has to work harder. If it has to do extra work following redirects in order to access certain pages, it may use up your website's allocated crawl budget before it has finished crawling all your pages.
Internal & external redirects
Because of this, as a general rule of thumb, if you can clean up internal redirects without it causing a ton of work, it's a good idea to do so.
Similarly, as a general rule of thumb, most SEOs do not worry too much about external redirects, as long as the redirect is still pointing to the correct/equivalent destination URL.
Sitebulb includes Hints which simply alert you to the existence of redirects, but also some more serious issues, such as URLs that redirect to a broken URL, or URLs that redirect back to themselves. Also included are a set of Hints that relate to page resource URLs, which can affect how the page is rendered.
Most of the Redirects Hints are Issues, which means they represent errors or problems that need to be fixed. They are additionally classified in terms of their importance - this should be taken into account when prioritizing implementation work, along with the number and type of URLs affected.
These Hints are very important, and definitely warrant attention.
- Internal URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
- External URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
- Internal URL redirects back to itself
- Internal URL is part of a chained redirect loop
- Resource URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
- Page resource URL redirects back to itself
- Page resource URL is part of a chained redirect loop
These Hints are worth investigating further, and may warrant further attention depending on the type and quantity of URLs affected.
Internal URLs Insights
Insights are neither issues nor opportunities, and often don't require any action at all - they are brought to your attention as they may provide a useful avenue of investigation.