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Keep redirects alive for a year

Keep redirects alive for a year

Google’s Gary Illyes recommends keeping redirects in place for at least a year to ensure that rank signals are sent permanently.

While Google has previously recommended keeping redirects alive for a year or longer, it was more of a general best practice and not something known to have a direct impact on ranking signals.

We now know that site owners can remove a redirect after one year, and Google will continue to forward the signals indefinitely.

This is the first “concrete” response from Google on how long redirects should be in place to permanently send signals.

Here is the tweet from Illyes:

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hands up if you recently asked us how long to keep redirects in place!

I have a concrete answer now: at least 1 year.

(but try to keep them indefinitely if you can for your users).

– Gary 경리 理 / 경리 Illyes (@methode) July 21, 2021

In a follow-up tweet, he points to this Google help document for the rationale behind the one-year time frame.

Illyes specifically refers to this section:

“Keep the redirects for as long as possible, usually at least 1 year. This timeframe allows Google to transmit all signals to the new URLs, including reloading and redistributing links to other sites that point to your old URLs.

From the users’ perspective, consider keeping redirects indefinitely. However, redirects are slow for users, so try updating your own links and any high volume links from other sites to point out the new URLs. ”

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In response to the introductory tweet, Illyes answers a number of questions in which he clarifies – yes, when a signal is sent from one URL to another, it stays that way forever.

It takes about a year for Google to forward all signals, which is why it is the least recommended time frame for a redirect to stay alive.

However, if at all possible, keep redirects as long as you can because it is better for the user experience.

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