Go to hints

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 has two Hints which alert you to the existence of redirects:

Issues with URL redirects

As stated above, redirects are not that bad, when they take the user/crawler directly to the required resource. They become a lot more irritating when this isn't what happens, which is what the following set of Hints describe:

  1. Internal URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
  2. Internal URL redirects back to itself
  3. External URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
  4. Redirects using a Meta refresh
  5. Internal URL is part of a chained redirect loop

Issues with page resource redirects

The issues above all deal with a redirect of the entire document, but redirects can also affect individual page resource URLs, which in turn can have an impact upon page rendering.

  1. Resource URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)
  2. Page resource URL redirects back to itself
  3. Redirected page resource URLs
  4. Page resource URL is part of a chained redirect loop

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