301 steering and URL normalization

What is the 301 turn?

The 301 redirect (or 301 redirect, 301 jump) is a type of status code in the (header) of the HTTP data stream returned by the server when the user or the search engine issues a browse request to the web server, indicating the webpage. Permanently transfer to another address.

Other common status codes include, 200 means everything is OK, 404 pages are not found, 302 is temporarily turned, and so on.

Why do you want to do the URL turn?

In addition to the URL normalization issues described earlier, there are a number of situations where URLs need to be redirected. For example, to protect copyright, you have multiple domain names with different TLDs: 
And so on.

Naturally these domains names all point to a website. If you use as the primary domain name, other domain names can be redirected to

Or you registered the company’s full name domain name, but it is too long, you also registered the abbreviated domain name to facilitate users to remember, one of them as the primary domain name, and the other can turn to the primary domain name.

Why use 301 to turn?

The URL steering methods mainly include: 301 steering, 302 steering, JavaScript steering, PHP/ASP/CGI steering, META REFRESH webpage META refresh, and so on. The 302 steering may have URL normalization issues. Other methods are common cheating techniques. Of course, it is not that they can not be used properly. The method itself is not wrong, but the cheaters use more. The search engine is sensitive to these suspicious turns. Why take risks?

When page A redirects to page B with a 301 redirect, the search engine can be sure that page A permanently changes location, or does not actually exist, and the search engine will treat page B as the only valid target. The advantage is, first, there is no URL normalization problem, and secondly, it is also important that the PR page level of page A will be transmitted to page B.

Many times other websites will link to


Not what you want


The PR of this link will also be passed to all URLs. If you use 301 to redirect the first three URLs to 
PR will be concentrated on the web page

How to judge the website has a URL normalization problem?

There is a saying in English that don’t fix if something is not bad. Many websites don’t do 301 to turn the rankings without affecting them, so don’t touch it.

If you feel that the site rankings are not as good as expected, you can see if there are URL normalization issues:

1) Check if these URLs have similar PR values ​​and web page snapshots:


If so, there may be problems.

2) Search to see if there are multiple homepage versions in the results.

3) Whether your website has many pages on Google is marked as “Supplemental Result”. It is generally considered to be classified as “supplementary material” as a symptom of the standardization of the website.

How to do 301 steering

If you are using a Unix/Linux host, you can use File.giffiles (files for directory-specific instructions such as passwords, redirects, error handling, etc. in Unix/Linux).

For example, by turning /old.htm to, you can use this command:

Redirect 301 /old.htm


Redirect permanent /old.htm

If you want to redirect all URLs of the form to 301 redirects to, include:



Go to

Wait, you also need to use mod_rewrite:

Options +FollowSymLinks 
RewriteEngine on 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC] 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301]

If you are using a Windows host, you should do 301 steering settings in the control panel.

Added: Answering Stone King’s question in the URL normalization comment may be helpful to everyone:

As far as I know, HTML can’t do 301 turns. Only JS or META REFRESH can be done in HTML, but not 301. Once the HTML is read, it has returned a 200 OK status code.

If your page is ASP or PHP you can also do 301 steering:


<%@ Language=VBScript %> 
Response.Status=”301 Moved Permanently” Response.AddHeader “Location”, ”” 


Header (“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”); 

In addition, the DOThtaccess file is just a plain text file. You can use Notepad to build this file, put the instructions, and it will be in the root directory of your account. No need to modify Apache.

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