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Google Says Redirects Signals Stick With Destination URL After A Year

Gary Illyes of Google posted on Twitter that you should keep a redirect live for a year for Google Search purposes. The signals from original page A to destination page B will all be transferred and stick with page B even after the redirect is removed, if that redirect is live for a year.

We have heard the advice from Google before that keeping redirects up for a year is good practice. But this is the first time a Googler is saying this is a “concrete answer” and more so, that even after the redirect is removed, the signals do not go back to the origin page but stick with the destination page.

Here is Gary’s original tweet:

He then went back and forth on Twitter with dozens of questions and issued a clarification saying, “if a signal was already passed to B, it will stay there ~no matter what.”

I like how Patrick Stox summed that up:

Google updated its site move help doc in section six to read “Keep the redirects for as long as possible, generally at least 1 year. This timeframe allows Google to transfer all signals to the new URLs, including recrawling and reassigning links on other sites that point to your old URLs. From users’ perspective, consider keeping redirects indefinitely. However, redirects are slow for users, so try to update your own links and any high-volume links from other websites to point to the new URLs.”

Here is some of the back and forth when SEOs started to understand if the signals stick even after the redirect is removed. And to be clear, they do, but once the redirect is removed, the new signals pointing to origin page A are not passed to the removed redirect destination page B. I hope that makes sense…

And technically it can be less than a year, but a year is safe:

And the clock starts ticking when Google notices the redirect:

Pretty cool transparency from Google on this!

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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