Redirecting dead links or expired links is an important strategy to improve your site’s ranking and also increase your index rate. Google bots find it very difficult to crawl pages of dead links. If the bots or crawlers comes across many such dead links then it might even ignore your site from further crawling or indexing thinking that your site has nothing but dead links or invalid links.
So it is important to set a 301 redirect or a 301 custom redirect which leads the crawlers from invalid links to a valid link or page.
You can create a 301 redirect for a WordPress blog with the help of a plugin, but in the case of blogspot blogs you can do this in your blogger dashboard itself.
First you need to find these dead links in order to create the redirects. All these links can be found in the Google Webmaster Tools.
In the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard, Select your site and click on Crawl Errors.
Here a list of all the Dead links or links of 404 Error pages can be found.
You need to redirect these dead links to valid pages.
301 Redirects in WordPress Blogs
To create a 301 redirect in a WordPress blog, you need to download a plugin called Quick Redirects. There are many similar plugins out there but I would recommend Quick Redirects.
After you have installed and activated the plugin, it should appear in the left side menu.
Just click on the Quick Redirects plugin and you will see something like the image below
In the Request URL field, paste one of the URL or invalid link from the Google Webmasters Page and in the Destination URL field enter the address where you want old link to be redirected.
For Example look at the image below
In the above image, I have set redirects from invalid links to my site’s homepage. You can set the destination URL to another post or a page depending upon your site. If you do not have any post or page to link, then you can simply enter your homepage URL like I have done in my case.
Leave the New Window(NW) and No Follow(NF) check boxes empty. I don’t recommend checking those and don’t forget to click on Add New Redirects as this will save your newly created redirects.
301 Redirects in Blogspot/Blogger Blogs
To set 301 custom redirects in blogspot blogs, login to your blogger dashboard and Go to Settings. Under Settings Go to Search Preferences.
Here you can find Custom Redirects. Click on Edit and in the From field enter the URL of the invalid link. Keep in mind that you need to enter only the part of the address which is after the actual URL. This may look something like the link below
You need to paste only the part of the address which comes after the date. Even in the To field, you need to enter only the part of the link that contains the name of the actual post. If you want to redirect the invalid link to the homepage just enter “/” without the “”.
After you have filled the To and From fields check on the Permanent option to make the redirect permanent and click on Save changes.
Now that you have successfully set the redirects in WordPress and Blogspot blogs, in the Webmasters page you need to check on all the invalid links and click on Mark As Fixed.
By doing so, you are notifying the crawlers that the 404 pages have been redirected to valid pages and that the bots can crawl the links again.
Repeat the same process whenever you you find invalid links in your Webmaster dashboard to get your site indexed faster.
If you have anything to say, please put them in the comments below.