SEO Agency NYC

301 Redirect Best Practices for SEO CMS Management

A perennial question in the world of SEO is “What is an SEO-friendly CMS”? This used to imply that the user was looking for a CMS that was designed and built to give the webmaster an advantage or edge in SEO. For a long time, WordPress was often considered to be the gold standard. 

But as SEO has grown and we realize that on-site SEO is really about publishing and housekeeping, we can see the fruitlessness of this absurd idea. Today, we don’t look to the CMS to give any optimizations within SEO – but instead to manage and implement a basic set of tools that allow the adept SEO manager to grow a site instead of being hampered by out-of-date tactics, myths conspiracy theories, and SEO plugins.

There are a few basic ingredients that make a great CMS – and 1000 things a web designer can do that will end up hampering the future plans for an SEO Manager. 

URL HTTP Status Codes for SEO

These are the page status codes that Web Admins need to manage, which will report through the health check and page index error reports in your Webmaster tools. This table adds the SEO component for each HTTP Status Code:

Code HTTP Meaning SEO Meaning
200 OK All good for indexing. 
301 Permanant Redirect A great way to recycle URLs. After 200, this is the next best status for a page to be in. Read our 301 URL SEO Guide.If you can’t immediately re-use or preserve a URL, this is next.
302 Temporary Redirect If you plan to preserve or recycle but you don’t have the content ready, this is the second-best state for a URL
404 Not Found This is equally bad for UI/UX and SEO. There’s no reason to have a 404 page. Even if you intentionally left the page for Google to Ignore so that it doesn’t send the wrong traffic to the wrong content – then at least 301 or 302 (if you plan to place updated content). The main difference is that for SEO – this will lose or bleed inbound authority from any external links.
410 Gone A legacy code but treated the same as a 404 for an SEO PoV – this is highly wasteful
501/50x Error The worst version of 404 – absolutely try to preserve 301


Describing an SEO friendly CMS Design

In an age of advanced SEO, we no longer look to CMSs providing an SEO advantage – rather it’s assessed by how little damage it can do. One of the most important aspects of SEO is URL management. URLs are the primary key of SEO pages. 

They are also the channels or sets of channels that organizations use to get people to view their message. Yet, too often, we routinely turn off pages that could be utilized just like any other channel – earned or paid. It’s just so idiosyncratic that it doesn’t make sense.


The Four ‘R’s of URL Preservation in SEO

The golden rule here is to keep and preserve organic traffic flow into a website as part of an Advanced SEO Strategy. This rule of thumb can be applied to almost any scenario – with Reserving and Recycling URLs being the most important and Redirecting Management the last.

Respect your URLs

You should respect your URLs and treat them as assets. Don’t change them without a good reason. Don’t delete them or redirect them without considering the consequences. Remember that every URL has a history and a reputation in the Google universe. Changing or removing a URL means creating a new page with zero authority or relevance and retiring an existing page with some value.

Reserve – or Preserve your URLs

You should reserve your URLs judiciously and strategically. Don’t waste them on pages that have no value or purpose for your site or your audience. Think about how you can optimize your URLs for keywords, relevance, and user experience


You should re-use your URLs whenever possible. If you have content that needs to be updated or replaced, don’t create a new URL for it. Just update the existing content on the same URL. This way, you can preserve the authority and relevance of your URL and avoid creating duplicate or redundant pages. Re-using URLs also helps with user experience and navigation.

Redirect – the best way to tie up 

You should redirect your URLs only as a last resort. Redirecting means telling Google and your users that the original URL is no longer available and they should go to a different URL instead. This can cause confusion, frustration, and loss of trust. Redirecting also means losing some of the authority and relevance of your original URL. Therefore, you should only redirect your URLs when there is no other option.

These are the golden rules of URL management in SEO. By following them, you can make sure that your URLs are not only SEO-friendly, but also user-friendly and business-friendly. You can also avoid leaving orphan pages that have no links or references from anywhere else on your site or the web. Remember: re-use, recycle, or redirect – in that order.

NEVER 404 – the SEO Golden Rule

I’ll do more on this but whatever states your

Further Reading: SEO-Friendly CMS Design

What do you think about these CMS SEO management techniques? Do you have any questions or comments? Please share your thoughts below

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