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I want to move my current Tumblr blog to static HTML blog. Currently I am using a custom domain, I am planning on doing the move when Google sees domain name change. I am considering two options:

  1. Buying a hosting service
  2. Using GitHub pages

Buying a hosting service would probably mean I am going to pay for lots of things that I don't need like PHP, MySQL, e-mail service etc. On the other hand, if I use GitHub pages, I can't use .htaccess file to make 301 redirects. I want to change my URL structure and this is important to me.

I was wondering if I use:

<meta http-equiv=refresh content="0; url=http://example.com/newurl" />

Would Google see it as 301 redirect, so that I won't use my search engine value?

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Google strongly recommends not using meta refreshes to redirect –  John Conde Sep 30 '13 at 14:50

2 Answers 2

A meta refresh is not seen as a 301 redirect, which is an HTTP status code that tells client applications and search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new location. The meta refresh would simply refresh the page to the specified URL each time the page is loaded.

See this GitHub help doc for setting up a custom domain with pages.

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This was discussed on webmasterworld. doc_z says:

As far as I know, Google follows these redirections and PR is passed. Google doesn't distinguish between these pages. The content is taken from the target page.

Here is an article about it on dannytalk.com which says:

It appears that a meta refresh delay of 0 or 1 second will be considered as a 301 redirect and anything longer is considered a 302.

Google itself recommends against using meta refresh redirects:

This meta tag sends the user to a new URL after a certain amount of time, and is sometimes used as a simple form of redirection. However, it is not supported by all browsers and can be confusing to the user. The W3C recommends that this tag not be used. We recommend using a server-side 301 redirect instead.

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The discussion in first link (from 2003) doesn't seem very reliable...I would stick with the last sentence quoted from Google (i.e., use a 301 redirect). –  dan Sep 30 '13 at 15:30

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