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Debate: The Necessity of the 301

Aug 17, 2010 / by David Malmborg

On my personal blog, I have a little section called “David’s Dilemma.” I thought I'd bring my dilemma to the SEO.com blog. It’s a pretty simple concept, I ask a question, and you leave an awesome comment. Remember this only works if you leave a comment.

Ask the question

Back Story

Last week, I wrote a post about quick and easy ways to see if a page was optimized. My second point was about checking for the 301 redirects of the non-www version of the site. It’s simple and in most cases it is one of the first things that an SEO would do to optimize a site, right? However, I was a little surprised about some of the comments I got: “The 301 redirect from the non-www to the www is actually not necessary in most cases these days."

Now I know the engines are getting smarter and don’t need the 301s in place. But really, are we not even recommending it anymore? Hence the dilemma:

The Debate

Are 301 redirects of the non-www version of the site needed, or still considered best practice? If not, what do you recommend?

Different Idea

One of the commenter's gave this idea:

“We are working in a linking environment where 301’s have been noted to pass no anchor text and possibly less link juice than believed. If you take this into account, you might see that automatically 301ing www/non-www URLs could reduce a site’s link juice over time.”

Instead, they recommend leaving out the 301s and implement the canonicals.

Let the Debate Begin

Ok, so now is the time for you to respond, and leave your mark on history ;-). Next week, I’ll mull over all that you have to say, and give my fully educated opinion on the subject.

Thanks in advance,

Topics: SEO Blog

David Malmborg

Written by David Malmborg

David has always been involved with consumer electronics and shiny geeky toys. After finishing his degree at the University of Utah in communication and business, he decided that the new age of online marketing was a great fit for him. David has five years of computer electronic sales experience which include retail and B2B. He also worked with a premier design agency focusing his efforts on sales and marketing, where he became familiar with SEO and other forms of online marketing strategies. In April of 2009, David joined SEO.com as an SEO Specialist.

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