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In assisting with the migration of a friend's site, we discovered that 301 redirects had been created for what are, ultimately, temporary pages.

These temporary pages then point to a canonical URL with an appended directory within the URL.

For example, '/page.php' 301 redirects to '/page' which then canonically refers to '/category/page' .

In tidying up this arrangement, would it be preferable to adjust the existing 301 redirects to point to the final destination URL, or would a second, new list of 301 redirects be more appropriate, or some other alternative?

  • Too many redirects of any kind are never good. I'd point to the final source of those files and be done with it. – John Conde Oct 21 '14 at 19:22
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Google have said that they will and can follow a chain of redirects, but you should keep the amount below 4 or 5 different 'hops':

Is there a limit to how many 301 (Permanent) redirects I can do on a site?

However as John Conde notes, it always make sense to redirect to a final URL if you can. 301 redirects and canonical tags carry over most of the ranking weight, or 'link juice' from the source URL, but if you start chaining them, you might lose more than using a single redirect, or canonical.

Also it just doesn't really make sense to redirect to a page that is canonicalised elsewhere, there is no point, so just redirect straight to the destination if you can.

So I would change the redirects so

/page.php

301 redirects too

/category/page

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