How I Lost Thousands of Visits From Search Engines – Warning about 302 temporarily moved redirect.
This little & easily overlooked issue can cause lots of lost traffic and it’s an easy mistake to make.
The other day I spent several hours researching why I was getting a 302 redirect error on Pennyroll.com. A 302 is a redirect error that states the website or page has been moved temporarily. I wasn’t even aware there was a problem because to myself and anyone else that visits the website, it would appear to load normally. This is more of a problem when it comes to search engine traffic.
I found out I was getting this 302 redirect when I tried Google Web Master Tools “Fetch as Googlebot” It’s a little option that allows you to send the Google Spider to a website and see it as it sees it.Well when I received the data back instead of seeing the code for a page and it’s content I received the error 302 temporarily moved.
Here’s the simple problem and the fix. Under the general tab in any WordPress admin area you have the option to set the home and the blog page address. Most of the time when I surf the web I simply type the address as “webaddress.com” I usually leave out the www portion of it, so when I added the home page address, I without even thinking about it put in “pennyroll.com” the http:// is automatically added so my homepage address was http://pennyroll.com and that’s how my website was indexed. Like I mentioned it really didn’t seem to matter as the website loaded correctly, but behind the scenes it would be redirecting to www.pennyroll.com to pennyroll.com
I recommend to anyone that has a website built on the WordPress platform to double check this little setting because about a week after making the change, my search engine results have been noticeably increasing. However I caution anyone who is receiving a lot of search engine traffic from making the change because it could potentially decrease your traffic at least in the mid term because you’re site will essentially be re-indexed with what is essentially a new web address.