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Using ebay as an example- lets say I have a large number of items whose URLs' look like this: cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1981-VW-Vanagon-manual-seats-seven-/250953153841

I want to give my client the ability to put links to these items on their website EASILY, without knowing or checking my URL. So I created a redirect service that will map their identifier with my URL: ebay.com/fake_redirect_service/shared_identifier9918 would redirect to the link above.

This works great- my clients can easily setup these links with information they already have, and the user will see the page as usual. So on to the problem...

I'm concerned that this redirecting service will have a negative impact on my SEO ranking. Having a landing page redirect you immediately to a different URL seems like something a typical spam site would do.

Will this hurt me? Any better solutions?

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2 Answers 2

No, this will not hurt you.

On the surface, a redirected landing page may sound spammy, but Google knows that legitimate sites may change site structure, and the 301 redirect is specifically intended to retain link juice from an old URL. Legitimate sites use automatic redirects for many other legitimate activities as well, such as short-link landing pages and desktop/mobile site switching. You have probably seen sites where the home page redirects from www.example.com to www.example.com/landingpage, and Google does not seem to be bothered by those either.

I have also personally experienced positive impact and no negative impact from using such redirects. I had a site with a large number of product pages where we wanted to add text to the URL for increased SEO. We changed the URL structure a bit to achieve this and put in a redirect for all of the old links. The redirects are still in place, and we now have more of those pages indexed by Google than we ever did in the past.

PeeHaa mentions canonical URLs as another option. I recommend doing 301 redirects and specifying canonical URLs. This will help ensure that search engines index the correct URL and reduce potential duplicate content issues from your various links.

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Redirecting would not be a problem as long as you do a 301 redirect.

Another option might be using canonical URL's.

But I think a redirect would be preferred here so that users will see the pretty url.

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