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redirect link - any good?

Hey guys,

If someone links to a website using a redirect link, does it still count?  or does it need to be a direct link?

I am hoping that a SE would still follow the redirect link and end up at the website and count it as a good link....



bruno
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bruno
Asked:
bruno
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3 Solutions
 
humeniukCommented:
What kind of 'redirect link' is it?
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brunoAuthor Commented:
something like..


www.example.com/redirect.xx?id=jiafeau890345ajkfeja


when clicked, it takes you to the correct site - but to search engines see it that way?
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brunoAuthor Commented:
actually here is an actual example:

http://www.nhgreatgolf.com/redirect.php?orderid=20050223150822

when clicked, takes you to the website of a country club.  does the CC benefit from this link?
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humeniukCommented:
The only redirect that will pass on PR value is a 301 redirect.  This page uses a javascript redirect (<SCRIPT·LANGUAGE='JavaScript'>window.location='http://www.loudoncc.com'</SCRIPT>), so no PR benefit will be passed to the destination page at www.loudoncc.com.

Please note that the problem is with the contents of the page rather than the URL (www.nhgreatgolf.com/redirect.php?orderid=20050223150822).  The same URL could theoretically be used to dynamically create a valid PHP 301 redirect that would pass on PR.
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duzCommented:
brunobear -

The standard php redirect without specifying is a 302. You will need to ask them if they change this to a 301 and if they do that's what you want.

- duz
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brunoAuthor Commented:
do either of you know of a way to test to see what status the server is responding with?

I tried some asp code using MSXML but it just followed the redirect so I only got a 200 from the end site.  :-]



Also, if the link is responding w/ status 302 - you say no PR value is passed.  Even if no PR value is passed, with the SE still follow the link and realize that it's at least an incoming link?  or is it all the same?  no PR value = no value whatsoever....
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brunoAuthor Commented:
points increased
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humeniukCommented:
200 is the proper code for this page, because the page is being properly received.  The javascript redirect that I posted above is the entire content of the page and is a client-side redirect, so the page is received and then the javascript redirect is processed on the client computer.  Search engines will ignore the javascript and therefore will ignore the redirect.  In the specific example you provided, the link will not even be followed.

Also, linking to a page with a redirect is not the same thing as a simple link.  The http://www.nhgreatgolf.com/redirect.php?orderid=20050223150822 page will receive the PR benefit of pages linking to it.  If it is a redirect page, it will pass on those PR benefits only if it is a 301 redirect (not a PHP 302 redirect as duz said, not a javascript redirect as it currently is).  If there is a 302 redirect, the spider will find the page, but not pass on the PR benefit. Will the incoming link be relevant?  Would it count as an incoming PR 0 link?  I don't know if it would or wouldn't.  Perhaps duz can clarify that.
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humeniukCommented:
To clarify, I meant that 200 is the correct code for the redirect page.

If you want to see the header and source (and other good stuff) for the redirect page, try this tool: www.rexswain.com/httpview.html and input the URL for the redirect page - http://www.rexswain.com/httpview.html.

This is what you'll get for the header & content sections (cleaned up a little to be easier to read):

Header (Length = 157):
HTTP/1.1·200·OK
Server:·Microsoft-IIS/5.0
Date:·Thu,·17·Mar·2005·20:28:55·GMT
X-Powered-By:·ASP.NET
Content-type:·text/html
X-Powered-By:·PHP/4.3.10

Content (Length = 80):
<SCRIPT·LANGUAGE='JavaScript'>window.location='http://www.loudoncc.com'</SCRIPT>

Again, this is for the redirect page, NOT the destination page.
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brunoAuthor Commented:
>> To clarify, I meant that 200 is the correct code for the redirect page.


Yeah...gotcha.  


I did look at the source of the redirect page, and can see that it's only the javascript, but i thought perhaps within their PHP they were maybe setting a different status...but if the SE doesn't follow the javascript redirect it really doesn't matter anyway.

that tool is cool though, like that info it shows.  will check it out.


bruno
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brunoAuthor Commented:
looking at their site, i am pretty sure that link was paid for.  its obviously still good for people who visit the site itself....but wish the SE benefit was there as well.  :-[
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humeniukCommented:
The URL implies that the page is dynamic. I suspect they are using PHP within the javascript.  Something like:

$url = (db query to get proper url where orderid=20050223150822)

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE='JavaScript'>window.location='<?php echo $url; ?>'</SCRIPT>
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brunoAuthor Commented:
Oh i'm sure...it's obviously not hardcoded.

but i would assume using PHP that they could set the response header as well if they wanted too...i know you can in ASP.  but it would seem they are not.


bruno
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humeniukCommented:
"looking at their site, i am pretty sure that link was paid for.  its obviously still good for people who visit the site itself....but wish the SE benefit was there as well."

Yes, it looks that way.  The question: is it an innocent (but unknowing) mistake, or a sneaky webmaster.
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humeniukCommented:
"but i would assume using PHP that they could set the response header as well if they wanted too...i know you can in ASP.  but it would seem they are not."

That's what I mean.  They could, but the are not.  Either they don't know or they don't want to.
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brunoAuthor Commented:
well - i might have to email them then.  :-]

they don't lose anything by doing it correct, do they?  i mean, what would the purpose of being sneaky about it be??
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humeniukCommented:
Some webmasters think they preserve PR by giving fake outbound links from their web sites.  I don't mean fake in the sense that they don't work, I mean fake in the sense that they don't pass on PR.  One way is using javascript as above.  Another is to use a robots.txt file to block spiders from indexing links pages.  Since PR is passed page to page instead of site to site, a link from a PR0 links page is worthless, even if the home page is PR5, PR6, whatever.

The benefit of an incoming link depends also on how many links are on the linking page.  You'd rather have one of ten links from a page than one of fifty.  If a webmaster puts 50 links on a page and makes 40 of them javascript and 10 of them html, the ten html links will share the benefit, the 40 javascript links will not.
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brunoAuthor Commented:
this all might be for naught anyway then.

here is the linking page - you will need to turn javascript off in order to view it, or else it gets reloaded into a frameset.

http://www.nhgreatgolf.com/listings.php?region=Merrimack%20Valley&category=Golf%20Course

that page itself seems to have no PR.
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humeniukCommented:
Looks like they're using all the tricks.  This could be a 'what not to do' exercise.
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humeniukCommented:
. . . and frames, too . . . hidden content . . .
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duzCommented:
brunobear -

Isn't this their business model, I thought I saw different rates for listings including live links?

- duz
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brunoAuthor Commented:
Yes you did....*shrug*  they certainly have a link to the website it just doesn't do much good for SE, only people.  

I might have made an issue out of it until i realized that the page the link was on had no PR anyway....


thanks for sticking it out w/ me guys!
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humeniukCommented:
Happy to come along for the ride :)   Thansk for the A.
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