Blogger has launched an Array of Search Engine related features and one of them is the ability to create Custom Redirects. Technically Blogger allows you to create 302 Redirects which are used to specify that the Web Page has temporarily moved to a new location.
What is a redirect ? - A visitor coming to a particular web address is redirected to another web address. This process is called Redirect. Blogger allows you to create Internal Redirects which means that you will be able to redirect the user coming to a particular URL on your blog to another URL on your Blog.
When are Blogger Redirects Useful?
Consider a situation where a page on your Blog was really popular and later you decided to delete it for some reason. Since that page is popular, references to that URL might be there at multiple Blogs/Websites which linked to you. The users coming to that popular URL will now be greeted with a 404 Page not Found Error. You might be loosing some potential readers/subscribers here. One way of resolving this would be to redirect the guy to some other relevant page. This is exactly what Blogger’s Custom Redirects do.
You can also use the Blogger Redirection Tool to create short links. For example you might want to redirect yourblog.blogspot.com/yourname to your contact page. You can do that easily using the Blogger’s Redirect Tool.
How to add Redirects?
I will describe this using an Example. I had a post about Meta Tags on my Blog. This entry was made some 4 years back and when Blogger launched the new Search Options, it became irrelevant. So I just deleted that post and made a new entry in my Blog with the new details. Now the visitors coming to that 4 year old URL from various sources would be greeted with a 404 error. I don’t want that to happen but I need that user to be sent to my new Blog Post.
- To do a Redirect you should have 2 URLs. The first one is the URL which should be redirected to the target. The target is the second URL where the user should be redirected to.
- The second thing that you have to do is to get the relative paths of these URLs.e.g.: The relative path to http://www.bloggerplugins.org/2008/06/meta-tags-for-blogger-blogspot.html is /2008/06/meta-tags-for-blogger-blogspot.html . You might have already figured out that you should remove your Blog’s home page URL from the URL to get the relative path. You should also make sure that the Relative path starts with a slash (/)
- Similarly you have to figure out the relative path to the Target URL. I opted for /2012/03/add-meta-description-tags-to-blogger.html
- Once you have got these 2 Relative paths, you can do the Redirect at Settings > Search Preferences > Errors & Redirects > Custom Redirects Add the From and To Fields there and click on the Save link and then on the Save Settings Button
- You can add more Redirects in a similar way.
Check out the following URLs and see how these get redirected
- A Post which is no longer there http://www.bloggerplugins.org/2008/06/meta-tags-for-blogger-blogspot.html
- A Custom Short URL that I made http://www.bloggerplugins.org/contact
Both of these URLs will get redirected to a different page instead of showing a 404 Page.