Make sure you're sending the right signals

Ensuring your website responds to requests correctly can be very important. Especially with SEO and the way you redirect requests to a new URL. e.g. if you move a page on your website.

This tool checks the responses you are sending so you can make sure you're doing the right thing. It will recursively follow redirects to find out the final destination of a request. It also detects html refresh code and redirects on that.

Typically, for SEO, you want your pages (or any URL) to return:

  • 200 OK for valid pages with content
  • 301 Permanent Redirect on old pages that have moved to new pages
  • 404 Missing Page Error if a page does not exist (don't redirect before a 404!)
  • 410 Gone if a page has been removed forever
  • 304 Not Modified if a page has not been changed after a specified date

Ideally you want all request to be correct and return the 200 code. However that is not always the case.

If you have changed any URLs then the 301 Permanent Redirect will help your visitors and the Search Engines. Visitors will get what they expected while it provides a signal for Search Engines to update their index data to your new URL. You should use this whenever you upgrade/move your website or have changed the URLs of any pages.

The 301 Redirect can also be a good move if you remove a page. Instead of just showing a 404 missing page you can redirect the visitor to a page that is more appropriate. e.g. if it was a product page then you could redirect the visitor to a similar product or the category page.

Here's an article on How to do 301 Redirects. If your using an apache server I've also written an .HtAccess 301 Redirect Generator Tool .

The HTTP Header Response Checker

Just enter your URL in the field and click check...

URL
Agent
How the request identifies itself
ReferrerThe URL of the page that contained the link causing this request.
Method
Is this request to retrieve (GET), send (POST) or just to check (HEAD).
If-Modified-Since
A server may return a 304 (Not Modified) if the content has not been modified since the supplied date.
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