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  1. #1
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    Meta tags for 301 re-directs

    I've seen options on some domain registrars sites where you can provide meta tags for 301 re-directs (keywords & description).

    Does anyone know what purpose this has? Do search engines pay any attention to them? I can't find an answer.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  2. #2
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    AFAIK meta tags can't do actual 301 redirects. The 301 needs to be sent in the headers and meta tags are not parsed until after the headers are done and the page content loads. Plus I don't know of any search engine even acknowledging that meta 301 redirects exist much less are valid. Personally I'd stay with using Apache or my own headers for 301 redirects.

  3. #3
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Cheers, I'll try to find an answer and I'll report back if you're interested.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  4. #4
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    I am. Thanks.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Hi everyone
    In general we would like to recommend not using meta refreshes in lieu
    of a server side 301 redirect. Not only are they generally seen as a
    bad experience by users, they are also treated differently by the
    various search engines. If you cannot do a server side redirect, I
    would recommend grabbing a list of your links from your webmaster
    tools account and contacting the site owners to change them
    appropriately. Yes, it is a bit of work, but webmasters are generally
    happy to comply. You should generally not rely on meta refreshes (or
    javascript redirects) to be treated the same as server side redirects.

    John
    The same question was asked in a comment on the Google Blog (link). The writer (John Mueller) answers with a link to a Google Groups Page (link) where the above answer is given.
    "The proper function of man is to live - not to exist."
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  6. #6
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links. Looks like I am a good guesser.

  7. #7
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalreturns View Post
    The same question was asked in a comment on the Google Blog (link). The writer (John Mueller) answers with a link to a Google Groups Page (link) where the above answer is given.
    Very interesting, thanks for posting it.

    My original question was slightly different though in that I was trying to understand if it's possible to have useful meta tags for a re-direct and that actually have some effect on SEO. Might the se use the desc tag from the registrar rather than the one on your page? (I should test that)

    The same question applies to web forwarding.

    When the domain resolves to the registrar, do the meta tags get read before the instruction to go somewhere else is followed?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Very interesting, thanks for posting it.

    My original question was slightly different though in that I was trying to understand if it's possible to have useful meta tags for a re-direct and that actually have some effect on SEO. Might the se use the desc tag from the registrar rather than the one on your page? (I should test that)

    The same question applies to web forwarding.

    When the domain resolves to the registrar, do the meta tags get read before the instruction to go somewhere else is followed?
    The meta tags are only read if the page is loaded. DNS occurs before the page is sent to the browser (actually the page is never sent to the browser).

  9. #9
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    The meta tags are only read if the page is loaded. DNS occurs before the page is sent to the browser (actually the page is never sent to the browser).
    That's my understanding so why would a registrar provide an opportunity for you to add meta tags to a forwarded domain?
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  10. #10
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    That's my understanding so why would a registrar provide an opportunity for you to add meta tags to a forwarded domain?
    If you're looking for a good answer I don't have one. They may be dumb. They may be trying to capitalize on the popularity of meta tags. They may be dumb.

  11. #11
    Error 404: Life not found silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    They may be dumb.
    Quite possibly, their site collapses the second you increase the font size so it wouldn't surprise me - www.123-reg.co.uk

    I usually assume in situations like this one that the other party knows more than I do about the subject until proven otherwise. I might email them and ask them directly.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
    ImgWebDesign - Web design in Buxton, High Peak, Derbyshire UK.

  12. #12
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    You never know. They may actually have a good reason for doing it.


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