For some reason we need to 301 redirect homepage URL to another URL for a while. Eg:

  • we would use a 301 redirect from www.example.com to www.example.com/a-catgory/b-catgory
  • we would add a canonical <link rel="canonical" href="www.example.com"> in www.example.com/a-catgory/b-catgory

Because we have a technical issue, we can't make www.example.com/a-catgory/b-catgory served from www.example.com immediately. Is bad for the SEO of the homepage URL www.example.com?

  • Your canonical URLs shouldn't redirect. If you are going to redirect to a deep page, that deep page becomes the canonical. Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 12:57
  • Can you explain more about the technical issue? It is usually possible (even easy) to use mod_rewrite to show content from a deep URL directly at the home URL without any redirects. Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 12:58
  • Our old homepage is confusion (CFM), and new homepage is PHP. We will change to new server, and engineer said if we want to use www.example.com, need some time to operation
    – aco
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 3:07

2 Answers 2


This is an incorrect implementation.

  1. You are using a 301 redirect which indicates permanent redirect.
  2. You are using a canonical tag to indicate that the main URL is the one being permanently redirected.

So, if you want to maintain the actual redirects and keep your home as the canonical URL, you need to use a 302 redirect instead of 301 redirect.

That would indicate to searchers that the redirect is temporary and the main URL must remain the home.

  • Thanks for your help! We will use 302 redirect instead of 301 redirect. Thanks for your detailed explanation again!
    – aco
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 3:07

Canonical tags aren't needed when doing a redirect. I agree with Emirodgar to use a temporary redirect. As for the SEO part, you can use Yoast and set the home title and description. If not, you can also create a page that pulls out the category and you can set the title and description from there.

  • I agree that canonical tags aren't appropriate. However your advice about Yoast is specific to WordPress sites. I don't see any indication in the question that they are using WordPress. Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 13:00

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