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I'm switching a social media site over to a Drupal platform. I'm planning to implement permanent directs (301) from each old url to the new url.

I'm using page titles in the url string on the new site:

http://www.newsite.com/this-is-my-page-title

From a technical standpoint it would be easier for me to redirect to the page id:

http://www.newsite.com/node/123

which automatically redirects (with a 301) to the above title url.

Is there a problem using two redirects or is it better to just use one?

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Just FYI, 301 is the code for a permanent redirect. 302 is temporary. –  Ilmari Karonen Feb 10 '12 at 3:06
    
yeah, had that mixed up. thanks! –  MotoTribe Feb 10 '12 at 14:49
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No, redirects lose a little bit PageRank so each time you redirect some PR is lost. Plus multiple redirects may cause other crawlers to be unable to follow them through to their final destination. So, ideally you'll keep your redirects to a minimum.

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sure, in principle, the less redirects the better — but in practice, any bot or browser that can follow one redirect can certainly follow two, and the PageRank loss from redirects is minimal. Just do whatever works for you.

(In fact, as far as I know, no-one's confirmed that there's any PageRank loss from redirects within a site. Matt Cutts did confirm in an interview that 301 redirects can lose a small amount of PageRank, but that was in the context of cross-domain redirects.)

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You better use canonical tag, any kind of redirection lose PageRank

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thanks. If I use canonical then visitors will stay on the old site. Maybe I add a META REFRESH –  MotoTribe Feb 10 '12 at 14:49
    
I have no actual inside information to confirm this hunch, but, given that Google seems to be treating rel=canonical as more or less equivalent to a 301 redirect, I'd be pretty surprised if one of them caused any more or any less PageRank loss than the other. –  Ilmari Karonen Feb 10 '12 at 15:22
    
@Ilmari Since Google suggest we use canonical, so we guess we can safely assume canonical won't lose more value than 301. And since there has to be some kind of jump, I believe canonical is a better choice. Also faster for visitors since no redirection. –  Eric Yin Feb 10 '12 at 16:54
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Actually, it looks like Matt Cutts has already answered this pretty definitively. –  Ilmari Karonen Feb 10 '12 at 17:02
    
that's great, thanks! –  MotoTribe Feb 10 '12 at 22:44
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You want to keep the 301-redirects to a minimum.

In summary:

It's better to just use one 301-redirect, because:

  • 301-redirects inflict some loss of link juice every time they are used (probably more than Matt Cutts would want you to believe).
  • daisy-chaining 301-redirects is therefor not a good idea. Say for instance 90% of the link juice is passed on with the 301-redirect. Having another 301-redirect will in theory pass 90% x 90% = 81% of the link juice. Imagine the time you've put into linkbuilding. Preserve all the link juice you can.

Please note that canonical tags are mainly used as guidelines for the Search Engines. Google however usually obeys it.

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