Audisto Redirect Checker

How to detect redirect issues

Redirects forward users from one to URL to another and can be triggered by HTTP status codes like 301, 302, 303, 307 and 308. The Audisto crawler checks for typical issues with HTTP redirect codes, that are worth being checked on a regular base.

Issues with CSS can lead to a range of problems in terms of the site’s performance and user experience:

  • Crawl rate issues
  • Latency issues
  • Targeting issues
  • Structure issues
  • Accessibility issues

This hints section offers help for webmasters who want to keep an overview on the redirect usage on a website.

Example: Audisto Redirect Check with the redirect hint reports for the current crawl

Audisto Redirect Check with the redirect hint reports for the current crawl

For a full guide on redirects, make sure to read our SEO & Redirect - The Complete Guide in the guides section.

Here is a list of all specific hints related to usage of redirects on your website, that can be identified with the help of the Audisto Crawler.

Table Of Content

Hints

Redirect Chains: 2nd level

Description

This hint shows redirects, that point to a redirect target, making it the first element in a redirect chain.

Example
Level URL Redirect Target
1st http://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page2.html
2nd http://example.com/page2.html http://example.com/page3.html

This report highlights all elements on the 2nd level in a redirect chain.

Importance

Redirect chains consume crawl budget on a high scale while adding to latency for website users. Redirect chains should therefore be avoided if possible.

Operating Instruction

From SEO point of view, we suggest to replace the original link pointing to the first redirect in the chain with the target in the chain.

In some cases it may be possible to aggregate several steps of a redirect chain with one single redirect.

Redirect Chains: 3rd level

Description

The 3rd element in a chain of redirects will be flagged for further analysis in this report.

Examples
Level URL Redirect Target
1st http://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page2.html
2nd http://example.com/page2.html http://example.com/page3.html
3rd http://example.com/page3.html http://example.com/page4.html
Importance

Redirect chains are adding latency for the user and consume crawl budget, leading to issues with user experience as well as crawl rate issues.

Operating Instruction

We suggest resolving redirect chains by removing links to entry points from the internal link graph. Instead link to the redirect target when ever possible.

In some cases it may be possible to aggregate several steps of a redirect chain with one single redirect.

Redirect Chains: 4th level

Description

The 4th element in a chain of redirects will be flagged for further analysis in this report.

Examples
Level URL Redirect Target
1st http://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page2.html
2nd http://example.com/page2.html http://example.com/page3.html
3rd http://example.com/page3.html http://example.com/page4.html
4th http://example.com/page4.html http://example.com/page5.html
Importance

Redirect chains are adding latency for the user and consume crawl budget, leading to issues with user experience as well as crawl rate issues.

Operating Instruction

We suggest resolving redirect chains by removing links to entry points from the internal link graph. Instead link to the redirect target when ever possible.

In some cases it may be possible to aggregate several steps of a redirect chain with one single redirect.

Redirect Chains: 5th level or higher

Description

The 5th element in a chain of redirects will be flagged for further analysis in this report.

Examples
Level URL Redirect Target
1st http://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page2.html
2nd http://example.com/page2.html http://example.com/page3.html
3rd http://example.com/page3.html http://example.com/page4.html
4th http://example.com/page4.html http://example.com/page5.html
5th http://example.com/page5.html http://example.com/page6.html
Importance

Redirect chains are adding latency for the user and consume crawl budget, leading to issues with user experience as well as crawl rate issues.

Redirect chains with a lot of elements might result in a "Too many redirects" client error. The target element of the redirect chain might not be shown to the user or be accessible to robots.

Operating Instruction

We suggest resolving redirect chains by removing links to entry points from the internal link graph. Instead link to the redirect target when ever possible.

In some cases it may be possible to aggregate several steps of a redirect chain with one single redirect.

Redirect Loops: Redirect loop starts here

Description

This URL is the first element in a redirect loop. A redirect loop is a chain of redirects that ultimately redirects to this URL again.

This hints report shows all redirect loops that could be identified with the crawl.

Example
Level URL Redirect Target
1st http://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page2.html
2nd http://example.com/page2.html http://example.com/page.html
Importance

Redirect loops cause issues with user experience by making a URL unusable. Redirect loops can also waste crawl budget.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to identify all redirect loops on your site with this report and fix them. One solution might be defining a target URL that delivers a status code 200. You might also consider removing internal links to the redirected URL.

Redirect: 1st level

Description

This hint identifies redirected URLs, that have internal links on the site.

Example
Origin What happens Target
http://example.com/page.html linking to http://example.com/page2.html
http://example.com/page2.html redirecting to http://example.com/page3.html

This report would highlight http://example.com/page2.html.

Importance

Each redirect consumes crawl budget because it is an additional URL to crawl. Linking to a lot of redirects directly on a site can add up to a huge waste of crawl budget. Redirects also add to latency, so users experience longer waiting times to see the content.

Operating Instruction

In most cases, it is a good choice to consider changing internal links to directly point at the redirect target URLs.

Redirect: Host change

Description

A redirect is forwarding the user to another host. This might be

  • redirects between www and non-www version
  • redirects to other subdomains
  • redirects to external websites

This report will show all redirects with host changes that we encountered while crawling your website.

Note: Redirects to external websites may be checked with the more specific report “Redirect: To external URL".

Examples
Use Case Redirect Origin Redirect Target
www/non-www http://example.com/page.html http://www.example.com/page.html
external website http://example.com/page.html http://example.net/page.html
Importance

Forwarding the user to an external host might

  • be an undetected outgoing link that passes link juice
  • waste crawl budget and SEO value
  • cause issues with user experience
Operating Instruction

We suggest checking for redirects with a host change on a regular base and decide case by case based on intention if internal links to these redirects need to be changed or the target URL of the redirects needs to be changed.

Redirect: Location URL is not HTTP or HTTPS

Description

Redirect leads to a URL that is neither HTTP nor HTTPS.

Use this report to detect all URLs that redirect to other protocols than the HTTP and HTTPS protocol.

Examples

Redirect to a FTP

ftp://example.com/file.txt

Redirect URL with a typo

httpa://example.com
Importance

Links to URLs that don’t use the HTTP or HTTPs protocol, can cause issues with user experience. In cases of typos it can even cause issues with the structure of a website.

Operating Instruction

We suggest checking for redirects to URLs with neither HTTP nor HTTPs on a regular base. Redirects to protocol definitions with a typo should be corrected as soon as possible.

If redirects are found, that point to a URL with an uncommon protocol, you should consider removing these links from the website.

Redirect: Non-ASCII Characters in Location URL

Description

When processing the location HTTP header of a redirect, the crawler detected characters that are not part of the ASCII character set. This is illegal, since only printable ASCII characters are allowed in HTTP headers.

If the crawler stumbles upon a non-ASCII redirect URL, it will try to execute it nonetheless. This however may fail, since it involves quite some guessing regarding the used character encoding.

URLs in redirects therefore should always be correctly escaped.

Example
Location: http://example.com/ümlaut

Correct implementation:

Location: http://example.com/%C3%BCmlaut
Importance

Not all browsers or bots may be able to cope with invalid HTTP headers, causing them to stop processing the URL, or at least do not follow the desired redirect. This may affect both users and search engines.

Operating Instruction

We suggest to always use correct URL encoding, especially in redirect location HTTP headers.

Redirect: Protocol change

Description

A redirect changes the protocol from HTTP to HTTPS or vice versa.

Find all occurrences of redirects that change protocols on the crawled website with this report.

Examples
Redirect Origin Redirect Target
http://example.com/page.html https://example.com/page.html
https://example.com/page.html http://example.com/page.html
Importance

Redirects with protocol changes can cause several issues, if the redirects are linked.

  • crawl budget issues
  • user experience issues due to higher latency
  • slight or full loss of the SEO value depending on the http status codes used
Operating Instruction

The prefered protocol version should be linked directly. We suggest changing all links that point to URLs, which are redirected with a protocol change.

Redirect: To external URL

Description

Redirect leads to a URL that is not within the crawled domain(s).

Example
Redirect Origin Redirect Target
http://example.com/ http://example.net/
Importance

Forwarding the user to an external host might be an undetected outgoing link that passes link juice. It might also cause issues with the user experience or even security issues.

Operating Instruction

We suggest checking for redirects with a external redirect target on a regular base and decide case by case based on intention. Depending on requirements either internal links to these redirects need to be changed or the target URLs of the redirects need to be changed.