When does “Page with redirect” in GSC need to be fixed?

When does “Page with redirect” in GSC need to be fixed?

“Page with redirect” is the status of Google Search Console. This means that some of your pages are not indexed because the users and crawlers you enter are redirected to other URLs. Google will index the target URL instead.

In most cases, page redirects are normal and pose no risk to your website’s visibility. However, if you see an important canonical page reported as ‘Page with redirect’, then you need to address it.

Redirect as cause for “Page with redirect” status

Redirects visitors of a particular URL to a different URL. You can monitor how they work in your browser. When the starting page loads, its URL changes automatically, and the browser displays the content of the final page instead.

When your browser sends a request to the site’s server, the server responds with a 3xx status code, which means: You need to go to a different URL to see the requested content. Your browser follows these instructions instantly, often without you even noticing.

The same thing happens to Googlebot as soon as it tries to visit a page with a redirect. It is redirected to another destination and cannot crawl the content of the original page.

So Googlebot does not send that page to Google’s indexing path. It crawls the target page instead and decides whether it should be stored in the index.

psst. In the above paragraph, I described server-side redirects, which are much more popular and faster than their alternatives, and client-side redirects. There is a good chance that you are using server-side redirects on your site.

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However, if you are unsure about this or want to learn more about the second type of redirects, read our guide to SEO redirects.

When is the “Page with redirect” status normal?

The important thing is that you understand who you are You don’t always need to fix “page with redirect” status. Their presence means that there are pages on your website that you no longer want to show to users and Googlebot because other pages are better suited to displaying their content.

Let me give you some examples of useful redirects for your SEO:

Redirects made during website migration

A good example of website migration is moving your URLs from the insecure HTTP protocol to HTTPS, which both your users and Googlebot appreciate more.

You want your visitors to always end up with the fresh version of HTTPS, and you want Google to focus on it when it comes to ranking. Redirects are necessary means of achieving this goal.

Redirects as a way to improve duplicate content

You cannot avoid duplicate content on your site. For example, your homepage may have more than one URL and be available at homepage.com and www.homepage.com.

Since Google aims to index only one version of the same content, you need to optimize your duplicate pages to have some control over what ends up in the Google index.

One way to deal with duplicate content is to redirect duplicate URLs to the canonical copy of the content. It’s also a good idea to use redirects when you’re consolidating the content of several pages into one.

Google will still be able to detect these additional URLs and request access to them from your server. But thanks to redirects, it will only crawl and index the pages you are interested in.

When is the “Page with redirect” status an issue?

Two types of redirects can cause indexing issues on your website. First, there are the messy redirects Created by mistake. In the next section, I will explain how you can find them in Google Search Console.

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Secondly, there Temporary redirects that Google considers permanent. To understand this issue, you need to know the difference between 301 and 302 redirects.

status symbol the meaning use case
301 Permanent redirect

The starting page is no longer important to you. You don’t need to index them, and you always want to redirect your visitors to the last page.

You are initiating a website migration.
302 Temporary redirect

The starting page is still important to you and should stay indexed. Right now, you want to redirect your visitors to a different page.

You have temporarily withdrawn from offering a particular product and are replacing it with a seasonal equivalent.

Typically, Google does not see a temporary redirect as an indication that the starting page should be removed from the index. After a while (we don’t know exactly when), however, 302 redirects start to be treated as 301. As a result, some important pages may be deleted from the index.

How to fix the “page with redirect” status?

Do you suspect that some of your pages with “Page with redirect” status need to be fixed? Let me show you how to find them.

What data can you extract from the “Page with redirect” report?

You can find the list of URLs affected by “page with redirect” in Google Search Console.

First, choose Index and then Pages in the left navigation to see your website’s indexing report.

Screenshot showing where to find the page

You can expand Status to see a list of your pages with detected redirects and a chart showing how their number has changed over time.

Screenshot showing the page

You can filter URLs for a specific folder or directory by clicking on the pyramid icon. You can also export and download the list as a spreadsheet in the upper right corner.

You can take a closer look at each URL by pointing your cursor at it and selecting the magnifying glass icon that launches the URL Inspection tool.

Screenshot showing how to scan a page

Since Googlebot can’t crawl the page, and whenever it tries, it gets sent to another page, the Live Test option will show you the data on the final target URL.

However, the URL Inspection tool will not display the URL of the final, tested page.

Screenshot showing how the page URL inspection tool works

How do you find redirect errors in Google Search Console?

Now, let’s answer the question of how to determine which URLs should not redirect users elsewhere and be de-indexed. The easiest way to do this is to filter the affected pages to only those submitted in your sitemap.

You can do this in the upper left corner of the report.

Screenshot showing how the page is filtered

If the URL is in your sitemap, you definitely want it to be indexed and generate traffic. The “page with redirects” status of such a page indicates the risk of losing visibility for strategic keywords.

Tools for checking your redirects

Once you find any false redirects, you can check where visitors are being redirected. All you have to do is copy the URL to your browser, and you will see how it changes automatically to another browser.

To determine whether you are dealing with a 301 or 302 redirect, use one of the following tools:

Short and long term solutions

If you want pages with “Page with redirect” status to be included in the Google index, you need to remove the false redirects.

However, this is a temporary solution that will not answer the question of their origin. Without further investigation during a technical SEO audit, you run the risk of the problem returning in the future.

Key takeaways

  1. Google does not index pages that redirect to other URLs.
  2. Getting a “Page with redirect” status in Google Search Console is, in most cases, a normal occurrence that doesn’t hurt your website’s visibility.
  3. The “Page with redirect” situation poses a problem when:
    • apply to pages that must be accessible to visitors,
    • Google treats temporary 302 redirects as permanent 301 redirects.
  4. Removing false redirects is not enough to achieve the perfect index coverage that your website deserves. Connect with Go Start Business and take advantage of our comprehensive technical SEO audit.

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