When someone (user or bot) reaches an old download link like /download/yellow-wallpaper.zip?key=some-expired-download-key , user is sent back to file details page, e.g /yellow-wallpaper.html, where user can click a fresh download button.

But the redirect is done by header("Location: /yellow-wallpaper.html"); (301) and I am under the impression that this causes some crawling problems. For example if I put a X-Robots-Tag: noindex, nofollow header tag in download script, and that script redirects back to /yellow-wallpaper.html then that url might be dropped from Google index ?!

  • Is my assumption correct ?

  • And/or should I send a different header code like 303 See Other with the redirect ?

  • You should use new Google Search Console > Inspect URL to check how is the robot understanding your redirection. If there is any problem you will see it there. – Emirodgar Oct 26 '18 at 7:33

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